The Government of Alberta updated its COVID-19 restrictions as of November 24, which are in place for at least the next three weeks.
Faith communities are often significant aspects of people’s lives, and include intimate and close contact between members. This measure will help limit exposure at these activities, reducing outbreaks and protecting vulnerable members who attend.
Regarding places of worship, the new measures include:
In areas of enhanced status, for example Calgary and Edmonton (Enhanced status (purple) areas), a maximum of 1/3 normal attendance and held at normal location, including rental spaces like a community hall.
In the Calgary and Edmonton areas, masks are mandatory, unless you have a medical exemption. Those choosing not to wear a mask will not be permitted to enter the church for the safety of other parishioners. In some other areas, masks are also mandatory according to the local bylaw. For all other areas, masks are recommended.
For all areas throughout the entire Province of Alberta:
- Two-metre physical distancing between households must be maintained
- Hand-sanitizing at entrance/exit to church is required.
- The faithful are required to sign-in upon entry for tracking purposes should someone present as COVID-19 positive.
- Ushers are to remind the faithful of the above requirements.
- Recited liturgies are encouraged. Where singing is practiced, no congregational singing. Rather, a single cantor may lead the responses, while the faithful remain prayerfully silent.
- Online liturgical services are encouraged
- In-person faith group meetings can continue but physical distancing and public health measures must be followed
- Receptions are not permitted
- Maximum of 10 people for weddings, funerals and baptisms
- This includes the officiant, bride/groom and witnesses
- This does not include staff or organizers who are not considered an invited guest
- This applies to any facility, including places of worship and funeral homes.
- This includes services held indoors or outdoors, seated or non-seated.
My prayers are with you and your faithful as we journey through Saint Philip’s Fast, preparing ourselves for the birth of our Lord.
Other Relevant Videos:
Bishop David’s Update on Our Church’s Response to the Pandemic
September 19, 2020: Talking with Bishop David about:
How has our Eparchy been responding to the pandemic?
Has our response been successful?
Are there any new measures we will be implementing?
Can I still do spiritual communion?
What are some ways we can respond as Christians during the pandemic?