SINGAPORE: The Catholic Church in Singapore will resume mass from next week, when all churches have put in place the necessary precautionary measures.
Sunset and Sunday masses will resume on Mar 14 and Mar 15 while weekday masses may also be resumed on Mar 16, subject to prevailing Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines, the Church said in a statement on Thursday (Mar 5).
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“Whilst the necessary precautions have been put in place, for those who do not wish to take the risk, you are exempt from attending Mass to fulfil the Sunday Obligation.
“Instead, this obligation can be fulfilled by participating in the online Mass or spending time in prayer, reading and reflecting on the recommended scripture readings for the day,” the statement issued by the Archbishop’s Communications Office read.
In the frequently asked questions section of the Catholic Church’s website, the Church explained that it has met with the Minister for Health and the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.
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Both ministers have encouraged the Church to resume activities with the necessary precautionary measures, it said.
The Church added that the decision was reached “after much discernment, balancing the known risk of transmission based on available data, social responsibility, and our core mission of providing pastoral care and spiritual formation”.
The precautionary measures outlined by the Catholic Church include temperature screening for all people coming for mass as well as attendance and location registration for contact tracing.
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An additional precautionary measure includes public education to exercise good personal and social hygiene, and to ask parishioners to stay at home if unwell.
To reduce the risk of transmission and minimise any adverse impact on congregants, the Church will also reduce the sharing of common items, increase the frequency of cleaning and execute business continuity plans.
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The Catholic Church on Feb 14 announced the suspension of mass in Singapore in view of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Archbishop of Singapore Reverend William Goh previously said that mass would be suspended “indefinitely” until there is “greater clarity on the way forward”.
He also urged Catholics to follow the broadcast of mass on YouTube or CatholicSG radio.