FROM: Bishop Bruce Myers
As of this week, all of the Diocese of Quebec finds itself in either a yellow or green zone, with the whole of the province on track to move to green by month’s end. This means some modifications in the Quebec government’s COVID-19 guidelines for places of worship. In both yellow and green zones, the following protocols apply:
- For regular worship services, maximum attendance is 250 people or 50% of the building’s normal capacity, whichever number is smaller.
- Individuals from different households must maintain a distance of two metres.
- Masks must be worn, but can be removed once individuals are seated, so long as speaking is kept to a minimum.
- Congregational singing and choral music remain prohibited, but one or two cantors may sing so long as they are at least two metres from each other and from the congregation.
- If the eucharist is to be celebrated and/or distributed, only the bread is to be offered to members of the congregation, and the celebrant (wearing a mask) should bring communion to each individual at their place.
- Coffee and other beverages may be served after services, but serving oneself from a common urn, pot, or pitcher is not permitted. Rather a designated server must pour and otherwise prepare each beverage. Similarly, food can only be shared if it is served to individuals at their seat and/or it is prepared in a self-contained box or wrapper ahead of time. The maximum number of people permitted to participate in a post-service coffee hour are 25 if indoors, 50 if outdoors.
- Outdoor services are permitted, to a maximum of 250 participants, so long as physical distancing and the other protocols related to places of worship are respected. If an enclosure like a tent is used, the maximum number of participants is 50.
- Congregational meetings, such as vestry meetings, may take place, so long as physical distancing is respected, masks are worn except when speaking, and no snacks are provided.
- Funerals and weddings may have a maximum of 50 people in attendance, and a record of those in attendance must be kept for the purposes of contact tracing. In the case of funerals, condolences may be received in the church before the funeral, but no more than 50 people may be in the church building at any given time.
I remain grateful for your patience in respecting these guidelines, which I know must at times seem onerous. However, it’s in part our collective vigilance in keeping these protocols that has helped bring us to a point where we can soon look forward to the lifting of all of these restrictions.
In the meantime, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Archdeacon Edward Simonton if you have any questions or concerns.