To all Parish Priests, Religious and Faithful of the Diocese of Jerusalem
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the past few days, there have been more considerations regarding the situation of places of worship throughout the territory of the diocese. Most of the civil authorities are gradually easing restrictions and allowing more openings.
It is not possible to give precise indications for every pastoral region of the diocese, because the decisions of the civil authorities are very different from one another, and these same decisions are subject to constant changes. It may not seem appropriate to write a letter every time there are new instructions.
I ask the parish priests to coordinate with their respective patriarchal vicars and work together to ensure that our churches and liturgies are made as accessible as possible to all, in accordance with the guidelines of the civil authorities, which may be different from each other, and we must therefore know these in order to adapt to each specific situation.
I hereby inform you that the previous instructions regarding the closure of churches be considered outdated and that the churches are reopened. However, this does not mean that we can return exactly to the situation prior to the closure of the churches. It means, that each pastoral area will have to check what the arrangements are for group gatherings and adapt them to their appropriate situation. Each country has different rules regarding the use of masks, distances to maintain and so forth.
As for the distribution of communion, the previous guidelines remain valid for now. The authorization for celebration of Sunday Mass from the previous Friday continues to be effective. If there is any doubt about the procedures to follow, the Chancellery is available for clarification.
I wish everyone a happy and peaceful conclusion to the Marian month and a good preparation for Pentecost.
With best wishes for every good,
May 26, 2020