Latest COVID-19 Updates from the Archdiocese of Brisbane
The safety, health, and wellbeing of our parishioners, volunteers, employees, and clergy continues to be of vital importance and guides all planning as we begin the re-opening of churches and return to normal operation of our parish offices. We will continue to follow the advice of public health authorities and comply with legislative requirements.
The 97 parishes within the Archdiocese of Brisbane are diverse in size, location and demography. While each parish community has been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and is eager to return to their previous schedule, some parishes won’t have the capacity to maintain ongoing monitoring or hygiene protocols for Mass or private prayer at this time. However, the majority of Archdiocesan parishes have reopened for Masses. To learn more about the schedule at your local parish please contact the parish office directly.
The Archdiocese continues to follow the Queensland Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, which allows for up to 20 people at Mass or private prayer. Some of the larger parishes have opted into the Industry COVID Safe Plan for Places of Worship which allows churches to accommodate up to 100 people, dependent upon the size of the church and compliance with health department guidelines.
The following protocols will be in effect until 10 July 2020. They are subject to change with any ongoing amendments to Queensland Health guidelines.
- If you are ill, please stay at home. No visitors are to enter a church, parish building or Archdiocesan workplace if feeling sick
- We are required to record contact details of attendees at every gathering, including Mass and other liturgies, and to keep these details in a secure location for 56 days
- Social distancing is to be maintained, which includes occupancy limits of one person per 4 square metres indoors and people keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between each other
- Hand sanitizer or hand-washing facilities are made available in churches, parish offices and gathering spaces. Visitors and employees must sanitise their hands upon entry and exit.
- All Catholics remain dispensed from their Sunday obligation until further notice
- Masses will continue to be live-streamed from the Cathedral on Sundays and weekdays and may continue to be live-streamed from parishes. The livestream schedule for the Cathedral of St Stephen is available here.
- Communion is distributed by the presider alone, who should disinfect his hands before and after distributing
- In the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite, the Body of Christ should be administered only in the hand and the chalice should be received by the celebrant alone
- The Sign of Peace should be limited to saying “Peace be with you” with a nod or bow; no hand-shaking or hand-holding should occur during the Mass
- Hymn books should not be used
- Collection plates should not be passed from person to person
- Holy water fonts are to remain empty
- Each parish must adhere to the COVID-19 Safe Plan for Parish Communities.
- Churches may open for Mass and private prayer, for up to 20 people at a time. If a Parish chooses to adopt the Industry COVID Safe Plan for Places of Worship this number increases to up to 100 people, based upon the size of the worship space.
Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals:
- A maximum of 20 people may attend weddings and baptisms. For those parishes which choose to adopt the Industry COVID Safe Plan for Places of Worship, this number increases to 100 people, based upon the size of the worship space.
- Funerals may have a maximum of 100 people in attendance (under both the COVID-19 Safe Plan for Parish Communities and the Industry COVID Safe Plan). The next of kin/funeral organiser must keep a record of attendees for eight weeks for contact tracing purposes. The 100 attendees only applies to funerals, it does not apply to wakes. Wakes are considered a gathering and are therefore subject to the relevant requirements for the venue.
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be offered by appointment with the priest, or during specific hours as determined by each parish.
Sacramental and Pastoral Care:
- Communion to the Sick may be taken by priests and designated Extraordinary Ministers adhering to physical distancing requirements, hand hygiene etc.
- Visitation to hospitals may include parish volunteers, subject to hospital guidelines.
- Preparation for First Penance, Confirmation and First Communion may (re)commence with up to 20 attendees at any gathering, adhering to the general requirements above.
- Group activities such as prayer or play groups may recommence with up to 20 attendees adhering to the general requirements above.
The Parish Office:
- All parish offices may operate as normal, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
- Meetings are restricted to 20 attendees.
- Priests should liaise with their Parish School Principal regarding classroom visitation.
- School Masses and liturgies must adhere to the above protocols.