Barb Wirsta
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Bishop’s Directives for Public Worship  

These revised directives come into effect on the Nativity of our Lady, September 8, 2020.

1.      The directives of the most recent version of the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan are all to be carefully observed in every Parish, Church, Hall or other building or gathering of the Diocese (file:///C:/Users/Office/Downloads/Re-Open%252BSaskatchewan%252B-%252BAugust%252B5.pdf).

Please pay specific attention to pages 14-17 (Workplace), pages 17-18 (Cleaning), pages 19-22 (Protective Equipment), pages 24-25 (Cloth Masks), and pages 34-37 (Places of Worship).

The section on Day Camps will govern Sunday Schools and Youth Programming.  

2.      There is additional information on Cleaning and Disinfecting from our Insurer (Ecclesiastical).    

3.      We are reminded of the following abiding rules and cautions.

Those who are ill with a communicable disease and those who are particularly vulnerable must stay home. 

Churches, associated rooms and buildings require special and regular sanitizing, particularly of hard surfaces and contact points (door handles, handrails, pew edges, communion rails etc.).   

Hand sanitizers must be available in more than one location in every Church and available in every room.    

Handshaking in all Church buildings is forbidden until further notice and physical distancing must be respected. 

The serving of any food or drink in any gathering associated with public worship is strictly forbidden.

All those leading in worship must wash their hands thoroughly before every service.  

4.      Effective immediately the maximum occupancy for public worship in our buildings is that set by the Province of Saskatchewan in the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan. 

The Priest in Charge with Wardens and Vestry may set stricter limits. 

The current maximum is 30 per cent of seating capacity or 150 people, whichever is less. Individuals or extended households must be separated by two metresThe requirement for six feet (two metres) of distancing between extended households or individuals will often set the limit of attendees allowed.     

5.      Congregational singing is not recommended by the Province but is allowed in accordance with the guidelines of the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan.  

Those singing must wear masks.       

6.      Baptism and Holy Communion

All those administering Holy Baptism must use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before and after baptizing each child. 

A mask must be worn by the Priest or Deacon when administering Holy Baptism.  

7.      All those administering communion must use hand sanitizer or wash their hands again at the offertory and must completely avoid touching their face, eyes, nose, and mouth.  

8.      Communion will be offered in only one kind (the consecrated bread) until further notice.

]Intinction is forbidden.  

9.      Communion will be administered at the priest’s discretion either at the rail with six feet of separation between communicants or standing at the centre of the rail or nave with six feet of separation between communicants.

Only the Celebrant will administer Communion.   

10.     A mask must be worn by the Priest as they administer Communion.

The Priest will put on a non-medical mask, covering their mouth and nose, once they have received Communion and before administering it to others. 

They may remove the mask once all have received Communion.

After the mask is put on and after it is removed, hands must be sanitized once again.   

11.      In case of any physical contact during the sharing of Communion, the Priest must pause and sanitize their hands. 

Only the Celebrant is allowed to touch the vessels, set the table and serve.   

12.      If individuals grab or touch rails as they come for Communion, these will need to be immediately cleansed (in a bleach water solution as recommended or with disinfectant wipes).

Those who have difficulty moving for Communion without assistance or touching the pews will be instructed to remain in their pew and identify themselves to the Priest/Wardens/Greeters and Communion will be brought to them.  

13.      Communion vessels must be cleansed with hot soapy water before each service.