Precautionary Measures Concerning COVID-19 from 15th March and Beyond


10 March 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:

Precautionary Measures Concerning COVID-19 from 15th March and Beyond

The spread of infections and serious cases due to COVID-19 have been reported one after another, and Church activities such as public masses have been suspended in different parts of the world. The other day, it was announced that masses all throughout Italy, including the Diocese of Rome, had been suspended. In Japan, it is not yet clear when the infections will peak.

In light of these circumstances, kindly take note of the following specific precautionary measures from 15th March and beyond as prescribed by the Archdiocese of Tokyo:

1: All parishioners of the Tokyo Archdiocese are dispensed from their obligation to attend Sunday mass from 15th March (Sunday) to 29th March (Sunday).

2: In general, all public masses from 15th March (Sunday) will be suspended for the time being.

3: Concerning weddings and funerals, kindly take adequate precautionary measures against infections before proceeding as usual.

4: For events other than masses, as much as possible kindly consider postponing or canceling them, except only for small gatherings. In case of holding such events, in addition to hand disinfection, kindly provide sufficient ventilation, keep a distance between each other, and try to finish as quickly as possible.

Moreover, in cooperation with a parishioner of Sekiguchi Church, we have been broadcasting the Sunday mass via internet, and we hope to continue this for the time being. Through this, we are able to pray together, and I encourage everyone to receive the Lord in the act of spiritual communion.

Furthermore, since we are not relieved from our duty to pray on Sundays, let us find time to offer our Sunday prayers, in spiritual communion with the whole Church community.

As for the video streaming, it may not always be possible to provide subtitles. And so, I ask for your understanding since we are relying on the generosity of the person volunteering to take charge of the broadcast.

Concerning the measures to be taken after 30th March, we shall make the announcement again around 23rd March, after carefully examining the situation and seeking the advice of medical experts.

Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo