The Government of Alberta updated its COVID-19 restrictions as of November 24, which are in place.
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 Alberta, a maximum of 15% fire capacity and held at normal location, including rental spaces like a community hall.
For all areas throughout the entire Province of Alberta:
- Masks are mandatory.
- 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 one or two cantors 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 20 people for funerals
- Maximum of 10 people for weddings and baptisms
My prayers are with you and your faithful as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord.
Holy Week and Easter Services
Pussy Willows. It is permissible to bless pussy willows on Flowery (Palm) Sunday; however, they are only to be distributed by one or two ushers wearing masks as the faithful leave the Church to avoid congestion.
Holy Thursday Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Bishop David and clergy at Saint Basil Parish, Edmonton, at 10:00 am April 1. Red vestments. The faithful are welcome to attend. To attend in person, pre-register at Saint Basil Parish by calling (780) 434-8010 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow live, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/ejd1aNDIdUo
Holy Thursday. No “Rite of Washing of the Disciples Feet” is permitted this year.
Good Friday processions and veneration of the shroud/plaschanytsia are permitted provided COVID-19 protocols are followed. Depending on the size of the parish and the number of faithful in attendance, the pastor may either process with the shroud directly from the holy table (altar) to the tomb, process with the shroud throughout the interior of the church, or process with the shroud around the outside of the church.
Easter basket-blessing is permitted provided COVID-19 protocols are followed. A variety of options are available depending on the size of congregation and space available, including blessing the baskets outside (weather permitting), blessing in church where the faithful keep their basket with them in the pew and the priest wearing a mask approaches and blesses with holy water.
No anointing/myrovannja is permitted this year.
Easter Sunday processions are permitted provided COVID-19 protocols are followed.
Only one or two designated cantors (no more) are to lead the faithful in the liturgical responses, while the faithful remain prayerfully silent.
The clergy are to be remind the faithful that only the one or two designated cantors are to sing Christ is Risen!/Xhrystos Voskres!, while the faithful remain prayerfully silent.
Graveside blessings are permitted provided COVID-19 protocols are followed.
Liturgical booklets may be distributed for the use of the faithful during the service, provided they are only used once at a given church, then stored until the following year.
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?