Guidance for Liturgy and Pastoral Care while Public Liturgies are suspended

 (extract) Updated at 1.30pm Wednesday 25th 2020


Dear brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Sale,

As you are aware, last night the National Cabinet introduced further restrictions regarding Funerals and Weddings.  I now remind you of the following directives, noting that further changes are likely in coming days. Please share this information with as many people as possible in your Parish.


  1. Funerals may still take place, but are strictly limited to a group up to ten (10) people attending and where the ‘1 person per 4 square metres’ rule must be applied. 
  2. Doors must be closed to further public access.


  1. Weddings may still take place, but are strictly limited to five (5) people - the Bride and Groom, Priest or Deacon and two witnesses (mandatory by law) and where the ‘1 person per 4 square metres’ rule must be applied. 


There will be no public Holy Week Ceremonies and Easter Masses this year.  The Chrism Mass will be postponed.  The Holy See has given permission for the Chrism Mass to be transferred to another time of the year and under the present circumstances, it may be an opportunity for me to come back and celebrate with you all.  You will all have enough Holy Oils in your parish to use as needed.

May I remind you that Canon 999 states: “In addition to a bishop, the following can bless the oil to be used in the anointing of the sick:

1: Those equivalent to a diocesan bishop by law;

2: Any presbyter in a case of necessity, but only in the actual celebration of the sacrament.”



  1. These may continue if your Parish is able to do this via your website, YouTube or Facebook channels etc. (Note: see for links to live streams)
  2. Adherence to good hygiene and distancing regulations need to be observed at all times. 
  3. Remember this will be telecast out to a public audience and so you need to model responsibility in all areas.
  4. Only the very minimum of authorised ministers/assistants should be present. Preferably only one other.
  5. The doors are to remain closed to any other participants.

N.B. Please be aware that there are now hefty fines in place for breaking these protocols.


I am mindful of the already many creative ways in which priests and laity, Parishes and communities, are sustaining faith and encouraging hope. Again I commend you for this, and encourage you to share ideas and know-how with one another.

In Domino

Archbishop-Elect Patrick O’Regan

Diocesan Administrator