Summary of the Archbishop’s Letter 31 March 2020:
Effective 1st April 2020 in the Archdiocese of Suva:
· Public Masses and liturgies—both indoor and outdoor—are suspended until further notice.
· There will also be no community communion services held in homes.
· The faithful can keep holy their Sunday by setting aside some time for prayer at home, the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online, and asking God for the graces they would normally receive in Holy Communion.
· Priests should consider continuing to publish their weekly parish bulletin online with advice and a weekly homily/reflection.
· Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not to take Holy Communion to the sick.
· Sunday Masses will be seen live 9am on Fiji One and Live-Stream on Archdiocese Facebook.
Baptisms: Should be delayed. Except there is a risk of death, the child should be baptized.
Confession: The Sacrament of Confession will be suspended during this time of pandemic. Physical and moral impossibility excuses a person from confession, in which case reconciliation may be attained by other means, for example an act of perfect contrition. (Canon 960) An act of perfect contrition can be made by saying these or similar words, “My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. I should love you above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to sin no more, and to avoid what leads me to sin”.
Other Guidelines on Weddings, Funeral, Anointing of the Sick and Communion to the Sick also covered in letter.
The Archbishop ends this pastoral with the following: Social Distancing and Hygiene
All parishes and parishioners are required to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines as provided:
· Hand Washing often and sneeze/cough hygiene of the utmost importance. Distancing of at least one person per 2 square meters. Strictly No grog - kava sessions in parish halls or parish premises.
· Self-isolation if diagnosed with COVID–19 or when exposed to symptomatic or diagnosed COVID–19 persons.
I know these changes will cause pain and sorrow. As Catholics we are responsible and committed to promoting the common good of all and care for creation. Please let us join with Pope Francis in praying for the end of Covid 19 virus. Yours truly,