Saint Thomas More Church front

COVID-19 Restrictions Continue to Ease as Province Enters Stage 3

For churches in the Archdiocese of Toronto, starting on July 16, this will mean:

 

  • There will be no capacity limit for indoor sacramental celebrations, but two metres (six feet) of physical distancing will still be required between parishioners who are not from the same household. This physical distancing requirement means that most churches will not see significant increases in capacity, but some parishes will use overflow spaces so more people can worship.
  • The Bereavement Authority of Ontario will no longer cap capacity numbers at funerals. As with other sacramental celebrations, there will not be capacity restrictions for funerals, as long as two metres (six feet) of physical distancing can be maintained between attendees who are not from the same household.
  • Meetings in parish halls or other indoor spaces are permitted in Step 3. Attendance may not exceed 50 per cent of meeting space capacity. Participants must be masked and physically distanced. Contact tracing information should also be recorded. Providing food at meetings is discouraged at this time.
  • Outdoor social gatherings and public events (non-religious services) will be permitted with a maximum of 100 people.
  • WorshipSafe guidelines remain in place.
  • Congregational singing is not permitted in Stage 3.
  • Livestreamed Masses will continue to be offered in a number of parishes and the dispensation from the Sunday obligation continues. Those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 are encouraged to exercise caution about any outings, including attending church. Virtual meetings may still replace in-person meetings where appropriate.

Ontario’s COVID-19 data is moving in the right direction and we are hopeful that in the coming weeks more restrictions will be removed.

IF YOU ANSWER 'YES" TO ANY OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW OR ARE CURRENTLY NOT FEELING WELL, PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER AND SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION:

Do you have..

  • A fever or chills?
  • A runny nose?
  • A headache?
  • A cough?
  • A nose congestion?
  • Chest pain?
  • A sore throat?
  • Difficulty breathing?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms not listed above?

Have you..

  • Or someone in your household or someone you had close contact with traveled out of country in the last 14 days?
  • Or someone in your household, or someone you had close contact with have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19?

UPON ARRIVAL AT THE CHURCH:

  • Please enter through the main doors (by Ellesmere Rd.) and you will be greeted and assisted by an usher.
  • Please bring and wear your own mask. If you don’t have a mask, you will not be permitted to enter the church.
  • Please observe physical distancing and keep a 2m or 6ft distance between one another.
  • You must arrive before Mass. Doors will be closed and no one will be permitted inside once the Mass starts.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  1. Everyone is asked to a wear a mask which must be worn at all times upon arrival at church.
  2. Ensure physical distancing is being practiced – 2m (6ft).
  3. Confessions are offered by appointment only by calling the Parish office.
  4. Holy water fonts will remain empty until such time as they may be used safely.
  5. All hymnals, prayer books and other reading materials will be temporarily removed from the pews.
  6. Unfortunately, singing provides a significant opportunity for the projection of particles from the mouth. Parishioners attending Mass are asked not to sing at this time to minimize the potential spread of the virus.
  7. The Greeting of Peace is maintained however, no sign such as shaking hands is permitted during the pandemic. A simple bow of the head towards one’s neighbour may be offered as a sign of peace.
  8. The dialogue between the Eucharistic Minister and the communicant occurs at a 2m (6ft) physical distance. After the dialogue, the communicant approaches the Eucharistic Minister who carefully places the Body of Christ in the communicant’s hand without touching the person. Holy Communion is received only in the hand at this time.

Please continue to pray for the end of the pandemic, for the sick and for those caring for them and for those who have died.