These guidelines are to assist parishes within the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur to prepare and implement safety measures for the resumption of public worship, sacraments and other religious activities in our churches and chapels.
The guidelines will be updated periodically as the situation evolves and in accordance with further guidance and SOPs issued by the authorities and the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur in consultation with the Archdiocesan Crisis Task Force. It is also envisaged that the duration of these measures will generally be dependent on the most current health advisories, guidance and restrictions issued by the government and health authorities.
The objective of these measures is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to and among the members of our community, especially the most vulnerable, and to provide guidance for the management of sporadic cases appearing within our parishes.
Although many individuals above the age of 18 have chosen to be vaccinated, we recognise that full vaccination does not fully protect against “break-through” infections from COVID-19 and its variants. Furthermore, there are members of our communities who have not been vaccinated due to various reasons (current CITF vaccination eligibility, government policies, medical exemptions, etc.). It is therefore both the recommendation of public health experts and the requirement of government mandates (SOPs) that necessitate the implementation of these adapted measures in the long run.
For the successful implementation of these guidelines, the full cooperation of all parties (priests, pastoral workers, parish staff, parish lay leaders, volunteers and the laity) is required.
The Eucharist is described as “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The worship of God and the celebration of the sacraments are the paramount activities of the Church. We must, however, balance this priority with the safety that must be accorded to our members. One cannot be promoted at the expense of the other.
Now as we look ahead to the time when we are able to return to celebrating Mass with our parish communities, we will want to do this in a reasonable and responsible way, with the safety of our people and respect for our sacramental life as our top priorities.
There are many clergy who wish to reopen their churches as soon as possible in order to welcome their parishioners home. Likewise, there are the lay faithful who have been anxiously waiting to return to the sacraments. However, the Archdiocese needs to take a responsible and prudent approach, erring on the side of caution, by adopting a phased-in approach to allow time for the procedures set out under these guidelines to be tested and fine-tuned before we proceed to increase the frequency and capacity of our services.
These Guidelines contain fourteen appendices in total, and comprise of updated versions of previously issued Appendices A-M, as well as the addition of Appendix N: