In a letter to all members of the Clergy, Lay leaders, women and men Religious, and Institutions in the Archdiocese of Cape Town, Archbishop Brislin confirms that the directive not to occupy more than 30 percent of the sitting capacity will remain in place “until further notice.”
“Churches which are large enough may now cater for a maximum of 250 persons inclusive of the celebrant and the assisting ministers, provided that the number does not exceed thirty percent of the seating capacity,” he directs, and adds that the Archbishop’s dispensation from attending Holy Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation is extended until further notice.
The South African Prelate who was appointed Archbishop of Cape Town in December 2009 directs that those who are prevented from attending Holy Mass ought to follow the live-streamed Eucharistic celebration and make their acts spiritual communion as prescribed.
He also recommends that where live-streaming is not possible, the faithful follow the liturgy of the Word up to and including the intercessions and also make their “acts of spiritual communion”.
In-person participation in funerals in the South African Archdiocese will remain at a maximum of fifty persons inclusive of the ministers provided that no more than thirty percent of the seating capacity of the church is used, Archbishop Brislin directs.
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He further says in his September 13 statement, “All gatherings associated with funerals such as night vigils and ‘after tears’ gatherings remain prohibited by law.”
“Also, by law, the occupancy certificate forms issued on 26th July 2021 must be completed, signed by the Parish Priest/Administrator, stamped with the Parish seal and displayed at all entrances to the church. For ease of reference a blank form is included with this notice.”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Cape Town has appealed to the leadership of Parishes in the Archdiocese to assist with feeding the poor in the country with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
“Food is to be given on a take away basis only,” Archbishop Brislin said, and added, “Feeding the hungry is deemed an essential service and Church premises may be used for that purpose provided all safety protocols are observed … We thank all concerned for the patience shown and for the many sacrifices that have been made thus far.”
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.