Cape Town Church Lifts Restrictions
The archdiocese of Cape Town has reacted swiftly to the government’s lifting of Covid protocols, including the number restrictions for indoor gatherings and the mandatory wearing of face masks indoors.
“Henceforth these legal requirements for our liturgical celebrations fall away,” said a letter signed by auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David. The letter, released on the morning of June 23, was addressed to all clergy, religious, laity and Catholic institutions in the archdiocese.
“However,” Bishop David counselled, “greater freedom also calls for greater responsibility. In this regard, we appeal for sensitivity to those who still feel unsafe and will be hesitant to shake hands or to hug others. Some might even decide to continue wearing facemasks.”
The bishop appealed for caution to be practised at all times, particularly in avoiding crowding of the entrance and exit points. “Hand sanitisation is a good practice and ought to be maintained,” he said.
Those with contagious illness, such as influenza, should not come to Mass, he said, and brevity in the celebration of Mass is still encouraged.
“We encourage celebrants to wear facemasks during the Eucharistic rite so as to minimise any danger caused through droplets being spread. The priest/deacon/extraordinary minister who distributes holy communion may decide to wear facemasks while giving Holy Communion as they come into face to face contact with others — but this is left to the discretion of those concerned,” Bishop David said.
Communion will still be given under one kind only, and the chalice should be reserved to the celebrant, concelebrants and the deacon, he said.
“In this regard, intinction is to be practised, with the last person drinking from the chalice and doing the purification,” Bishop David said
“We wish you well in your efforts to stay safe and to promote an atmosphere of wellness.”