June 15 – Chancery Notice
RESUMPTION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP AND GUIDELINES
FOR CELEBRATION OF SACRAMENTS UNDER THE RMCO
The Senior Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had announced today that a decision was taken at a Special Meeting of Ministers allowing all non-Muslim places of worship, except those located within red zones, to resume religious activities during the period of the Recovery Movement Control Order, which is effective from the 10th of June 2020 through 31st August 2020.
Please take note that the above permission is subject to compliance with the requirements set out in the Standard Operating Procedures for non-Muslim Places of Worship (hereinafter called the SOP) issued by the Ministry of National Unity (MNU) and National Security Council (NSC), which includes the following:
- The number of attendees at any service is limited to one third of the capacity of the place of worship;
- Devotees who are exhibiting symptoms like fever, cough, respiratory issues and cold are not allowed to participate. Devotees who have diabetes, cancer and other issues are not encouraged to attend;
- Devotees above the age of 70 years and children below the age of 12 are not permitted to attend. This restriction does not apply to the priest-celebrant.
- All attendees are to undergo temperature scanning and registration before entering the place of worship. The SOP requires all attendees to download the MySejahtera application. We will also be conducting manual registration for the purpose of contact listing and tracing. The Archdiocese would have additional QR Code scanning for our own records to assist the authorities in contact listing and tracing.
- The various places of worship would still be subject to additional conditions imposed by the State authorities. (Please check with your respective State)
In addition to the above requirements, the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur would also be adopting the Guidelines for Celebration of Sacraments under the RMCO and post-RMCO period dated 15th June 2020 (hereinafter called the Guidelines). These guidelines are to assist parishes to prepare and implement safety measures for the resumption of public worship, sacraments and other religious activities in our churches and chapels.
The Guidelines proposes a four-phase approach for the reopening of our churches, chapels, and Mass centres. The Four Phases are as follow:
- Setting up the Parish Response Team.
- Planning, preparation, signages, procuring equipment.
- Recruitment and Training of Volunteers (Cleaning, Wardens, Temperature Scan and Registration, Liturgy).
- Consultation with Councils to determine criteria for selection for Mass attendance.
- No public Masses.
- Anointing of the Sick and Confession (by appointment).
- Funeral service in home and parlours – limit to 15 pax.
- One Public Mass per week (Sunday) (the first Mass should not be earlier than the 28th of June 2020).
- Testing, fine-tuning and gradual implementation of SOP and Guidelines.
- Funerals in Church.
- Anointing of the Sick and Infant baptisms at home (by appointment).
- Confessions before Mass can resume.
- Additional Masses over weekend.
- Funerals, Weddings, Baptisms of adults, and Confirmation in Church.
- Daily Masses may resume.
The duration of each of the above phases is to be determined by the Parish Priest provided that the first public Mass under Phase 2 should not be earlier than the 28th of June 2020 and provided that the requirements of the Guidelines and the SOP are complied with.
All physical face-to-face activities, such as Sunday School/ Catechism classes, RCIA sessions, meetings (parish and BEC), formations, remain suspended until further notice. Ministries and groups are encouraged to use virtual platforms to conduct their classes, meetings or activities.
In his Pastoral letter, “The Church Emerging from MCO” dated 11th June 2020, His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow D.D. has reminded us that “the Eucharist is indeed the “source and summit of Christian life,” and should always be our priority. But it is also the priority and responsibility of the Church to ensure that Catholics can return to church in a safe manner in accordance with all the recommended public health advisories.”
Due to the gradual and limited resumption of public celebration of Masses and restrictions imposed on attendance, please note that His Grace will continue to dispense all the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. The Archdiocese will also continue to provide live streamed Masses for the spiritual benefit of those who are unable to attend Mass.