ABRIDGED VERSION :TOWARDS RESUMING CHURCH ACTIVITIES FROM 21 JUNE
Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:
ABRIDGED VERSION :「TOWARDS RESUMING CHURCH ACTIVITIES」
Since Lent, public masses have been suspended due to COVID-19. However,
CHURCH ACTIVITIES WILL RESUME IN STAGES FROM 21 JUNE.
Although the celebration of the Holy Mass will resume, kindly observe the following precautions for the time being:
1: During the Holy Mass, please maintain a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters from the person next to you. For this reason, we have to limit the number of people who may enter the church and participate in the Holy Mass.
2: The elderly (especially those who are 75 years old and above) and those who are sick, are requested not to come to church for the moment. Please offer your prayers at home. Records show that the elderly and the sick who get infected with COVID-19 fall seriously ill easily. There are also cases resulting to death.
3: During the Holy Mass, please make sure that you wear a face mask. Please sanitize your hands upon entering the church.
4: For the time being, there shall be no holy water in fonts at the entrance of churches.
5: For the moment, we shall refrain from singing all together at Holy Mass.
6: During the greetings of peace at Holy Mass, please refrain from physical contact with the people around you (Please refrain from hugging or shaking hands).
7: In the meantime, there will be no offertory procession at Holy Mass. Please refrain from receiving Holy Communion (the Body of Christ) by mouth. Kindly receive Holy Communion in the hand.
8: Collection of mass offerings/donations will not be made during the Holy Mass. It shall be collected through another appropriate means.
For activities aside from the Holy Mass, please take note of the following:
1: For baptisms, special mass for a small number of people may be celebrated.
2: For weddings, as much as possible postpone to a later date.
3: For the sacrament of reconciliation (confession), it may be celebrated while keeping a distance between the priest and the penitent in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
4: For anointing of the sick, it may be celebrated after taking sufficient precautionary measures.
5: For funerals, it may be celebrated after discussing thoroughly with the bereaved family and taking sufficient precautionary measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus. It is also possible to proceed with only the cremation first and have the funeral services at a later date.
6: For church gatherings aside from the Holy Mass, it may be held for groups with less than 20 persons, and kindly finish in a short period of time. Do not forget to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other and to wear face mask.