The City of Philadelphia issued new “Safer at Home” restrictions on Monday, November 16, 2020 that are effective November 20, 2020 through January 1, 2021. These restrictions are proposed to help flatten the pandemic curve due to the recent increase in the number of reported COVID-19 cases in the City.
Guidelines pertaining to the application of the “Safer at Home” restrictions in churches and institutions of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia developed by the Archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship were shared with all priests and deacons earlier today.
Condensed highlights are presented below. A full copy of these guidelines, along with comprehensive supplemental resources, can be found at http://www.odwphiladelphia.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Coronaviirus-City-of-Philadelphia-Guidelines-11-19-20.pdf.
- The “Safer at Home” restrictions are only for the City of Philadelphia and do not apply to the other four counties of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia—Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery.
- There is no suspension or interruption of the celebration of public Masses and the other Sacraments anywhere in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
- Parishes and chaplains in the City of Philadelphia are to review the restrictions and exercise prudential judgement about any necessary adjustments that need to be made.
- The recently issued Archdiocesan Directives for Advent and Christmas on October 22, 2020, continues to be in force all throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including parishes in the City of Philadelphia.
- In order to fulfill the capacity guidelines issued by the City, pastors and chaplains in the City of Philadelphia need to continue to adhere to the Archdiocesan directives and restrictions in place to moderate the size and density of the congregation so that it is smaller rather than larger.
- The faithful should continue to be informed of the available ways to follow live stream celebrations of Sunday Mass.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will continue to stream the 11:00 a.m. Mass live from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul every Sunday. The Archdiocese will also stream the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday, December 8th at 12:05 p.m.; the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass; and the Solemn Midnight Mass on Christmas Day; and the 12:00 p.m. Christmas Day Mass. All Masses will be streamed via https://vimeo.com/event/17522.
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Editor’s Note: For comprehensive information about the pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit http://archphila.org/covid19/.
Alaina N. Longo
Deputy Communications Officer