Updated Covid-19 protocols

With the Government’s Announcement on Monday 12 September to end the Covid-19 Protection framework, this means we can resume practices previously suspended if Parish communities feel safe doing so.

With the Government’s Announcement on Monday 12 September to end the Covid-19 Protection framework, Cardinal John and the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) have announced that we can now resume practices previously suspended.

The NZCBC wrote in a letter to Parishes this morning; “In the wake of the removal of wider government Covid-19 restrictions, all restrictions regarding the Mass are lifted. It is ultimately for parish communities to decide what changes they wish to make, while always keeping to the fore the concern for those who are most vulnerable.”

Cardinal John also described the changes for various practices across our Archdiocese in a separate letter including;

– Communion under both kinds resuming
– Communion on the tongue ca now be provided if it can be done safely
– Contact during the sign of peace can resume while also respecting Parishioners who may want to simple acknowledge each other
– Holy water in fonts
– Masks are no longer required although Parishes may choose whether they want Eucharistic Ministers to wear masks.
– The dispensation for attending Sunday masses is now removed, although everyone is reminded to make the decision to attend Mass based on your own safety needs.
– Parishes are also reminded of the importance of having vigilant hygiene procedures to prevent the spread of illnesses, not just Covid.

Cardinal John also asks us to acknowledge how these changes may affect people in our community; “The restrictions we have lived with have been part of looking after one another and being sensitive to the needs of others in our communities. This may be a time of increased anxiety for some people, who now may be unsure of attending Mass and other safeguards.”

The NZCBC also writes “We wish to take this opportunity to thank you, the Catholic community of Aotearoa, for your patience, your generous and faithful commitment and your service over the past two and a half years. This has been a time of learning for all of us as we become more aware of our need to care for those who are most vulnerable.”

The Bishops Letter to Parishes regarding Covid-19 can also be read here.