Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne COVID-19 Response

UDPDATE: GENERAL GUIDELINES COVID-19: Implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Posted Wednesday 13 May 2020

In response to the recent announcement of changes to access for churches and places of worship, the Archbishop has approved the following guidelines for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. The guidelines aim to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.Changes come in to effect as of 11.59pm, Tuesday 12 May 2020. Accompanying the guidelines is a resource that might assist in thinking through the practicalities and capabilities of your Parish in working with these new allowances. Every Parish is different, and it is important that you address what is possible in your own location, and for your own people.

Four key points to note

In relation to the latest directives announced by Government, there are four key points that directly affect churches, places of worship and liturgical celebrations and ceremonies held within.

  • All churches and places of worship may be opened for pre-arranged worship, small religious ceremonies or scheduled private worship times, subject to a number of conditions and to the decision of their Pastor.
  • Multiple liturgical celebrations or ceremonies can be held on the same day and may be determined at the decision of the Pastor and by the capabilities of each individual Parish to meet all the required conditions.
  • Prayer groups can be held in people’s homes (and in churches) subject to a number of conditions.
  • Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals can be celebrated with new changes to numbers of attendees, and again subject to a number of conditions.

In general, conditions require:

  • No more than 10 attendees in the Church at any one time outside those required to enable the service. (Weddings and Funerals excepted);
  • Clear signage around service schedules, social distancing and hygiene requirements;
  • Availability of sanitiser and disinfectant wipes, and safe disposal sites;
  • Churches to be cleaned after a scheduled service or opening;
  • Maintenance of 1.5m of separation and planned entry and exit pathways;
  • All attendees to provide contact details.

 

The Catholic Archdiocese Response updates appear on the CAM website. Check the website for any updates.

General Guidelines COVID-19: Implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne UPDATED

Posted Wednesday 15 April

New directions were issued Midnight, Monday 13 April, from the Deputy Health Officer (Communicable Diseases) and yesterday reinforced by the Health Minister. There are important points which pertain to the broadcast/livestreaming of liturgies, and to the number of attendees at funerals (recognising these as being conducted at a place of ‘work’). The Archdiocesan Guidelines have been updated (new items marked in red).

The following Guidelines are approved by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Updated guidelines regarding specific areas of liturgy and ministry (as at 15 April)

Holy Week Liturgies: Televised & Live Streamed

Posted Friday 3 April

We are pleased to share the news that our Holy Week liturgies at St Patrick’s Cathedral will now be televised live on Channel 31 (as well as live streamed on our website and YouTube Channel). While it will be difficult to not be physically present during these liturgies that commemorate and celebrate this most sacred time in our Church, we hope that by televising the liturgies, more Melburnians will now have access – particularly those who might be limited to television viewing only.

We invite you to come together in your households and families, uniting with the Church in Melbourne and the whole world to celebrate these liturgies in your homes.

SCHEDULE: Holy Week Liturgies: Televised & Live Streamed

Channel 31 Screening Times: Live from St Patricks Cathedral

Resources for celebrating Holy Week @ Home

Posted Friday 3 April
The Mission Team of the Archdiocese have developed a series of resources to celebrate Holy Week @ Home. This first set of resources are for Palm Sunday and will assist both spiritually and practically in a variety of domestic church settings: a) families with young children; b) young adults; c) adults. Early next week, an additional resource will be released for Holy Week @ Home: the Easter Triduum.

DOWNLOAD: Resources for Celebrating Holy Week @ Home (Palm Sunday)

General Guidelines COVID-19: Implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne UPDATED

Posted Friday 3 April
The following Guidelines are approved by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Permission has been granted for Churches to be considered as workplaces for the purposes of broadcasting or live-streaming Easter ceremonies. This permission pertains only to: 1) “people conducting services”; 2) for the purpose of “broadcasting or live-streaming”, and; 3) for “Easter services” only (at this stage). While this allows for more people to be involved — while still abiding by the 4-square-metre rules — it does not open the door to in-person attendees.

READ: Updated guidelines regarding specific areas of liturgy and ministry (as at 3 April, 5pm)

General Guidelines COVID-19: Implications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

Posted Wednesday 25 March

The following Guidelines are approved by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Guidelines regarding specific areas of liturgy and ministry (as at 25 March 2020, 12pm)

‘A new rhythm to our family lives’: Archbishop Peter’s message to school parents and carers

Posted Wednesday 25 March

With Term 1 school holidays beginning early this year, Archbishop Peter wrote a special message to all parents, carers, and staff to assure him of his support and encourage them to think creatively about adjusting to “a new rhythm to our family lives, and to find the true heart of our domestic Church.” Parents are encouraged to keep an eye on the Catholic Education Melbourne website and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne webpage for updates.

Suspension of Public Masses: Effective 18 March 2020

The Bishops of Victoria have written an update regarding COVID-19. Of note is the immediate suspension of public Masses.

READ: Letter from the Bishops of Victoria (18 March 2020)

A Message from Archbishop Peter A Comensoli

During these challenging times and on the feast day of St Patrick (March 17), patron saint of our Archdiocese, Archbishop Peter has recorded this message for us all.