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Covid-19: Catholic Church in Singapore set to resume public Masses and worship from March 14

SINGAPORE — The Catholic Church in Singapore will be resuming public Masses from next Saturday, March 14, when all its 32 churches around the island have put in place the necessary precautionary measures.

Covid-19: Catholic Church in Singapore set to resume public Masses and worship from March 14

A Mass at the Church of Saint Bernadette along Zion Road opposite Great World City mall. Masses are scheduled to resume on March 14, 2020 in the 32 churches under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — The Catholic Church in Singapore will be resuming public Masses from next Saturday, March 14, when all its 32 churches around the island have put in place the necessary precautionary measures. 

In a Facebook post on Thursday (March 5), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore — which oversees the Catholic churches here — also said that weekday Masses will resume from March 16. This is about a month after it suspended Masses to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

The statement — issued by the Archbishop’s Communication Office and posted on the archdiocese’s website — said that the resumption of Masses is subject to prevailing guidelines and advisories from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

On the archdiocese's website, it was stated that the Church had met with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, "who have encouraged the Church to resume activities with the necessary precautionary measures".

In an interview put up on the YouTube channel of the archdiocese on Feb 29, Archbishop William Goh, who heads the Catholic Church here, had said that the churches are preparing to get thermal scanners and thermometers for temperature screening, as well as rallying manpower to facilitate contact tracing using QR codes when Masses resume.

Churches will also be increasing the frequency of cleaning, reducing the sharing of common items, and continuing to raise awareness on the practice of good personal hygiene.

For Catholics who do not wish to take the risk, they are exempted from attending Mass to fulfil their Sunday obligation, the Archbishop’s Communication Office stated.

“Instead, this obligation can be fulfilled by participating in the online Mass or spending time in prayer, reading and reflecting on the recommended scripture readings for the day.”

Recordings of Masses daily will continue and be made available online on Sundays at 10am and from Mondays to Saturdays at 1pm. 

On Feb 16, the Catholic Church announced that it was suspending all public Masses until further notice due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Late in January, the Church had earlier exempted its members who are unwell or showing flu-like symptoms from attending Mass, which is the chief and central form of communal worship and thanksgiving among Catholics. 

Masses are usually held twice daily on weekdays but see the most attendance on the weekends when there are at least four to five sessions.

After Masses were suspended, most churches have remained open for parishioners to have individual or private prayers.

Some carried out sanitisation and disinfection of church premises as a precaution, such as Church of St Bernadette on Zion Road, Church of the Sacred Heart on Tank Road and Church of Christ the King in Ang Mo Kio.

Two Singaporeans who tested positive for the virus had gone to the Church of Christ the King along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 before they were warded. They have since recovered and been discharged.

Church volunteers helped to sanitise and disinfect church pews and other common areas on church grounds at the Catholic Church of St Bernadette. Photo: Church of St Bernadette/Facebook In Singapore, MOH has identified two clusters at non-Catholic churches where the virus has possibly circulated: The Grace Assembly of God church in Tanglin and Bukit Batok and the Life Church and Missions Singapore in Paya Lebar.

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