Catholic Church needs to assess before resuming physical services

Catholic Church needs to assess before resuming physical services
Archbishop Patrick Pinder

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Catholic Church will continue its physical distancing protocols and virtual worship services, despite announcements from the prime minister yesterday that services could resume under certain conditions.

“We are pleased that we are moving towards the resumption of worship services,” said Archbishop Patrick Pinder.

“However, we need time to assess and work out how best to resume our liturgical life given the specific conditions stipulated.

“As such, the practice currently in place since March 18, 2020 will continue for the time being.”

Pinder noted that there will be no weekend masses at the parishes until further notice.

He advised that Sunday Mass will continue to be streamed over the Archdiocese’s social media platforms.

These protocols will span across Catholic churches in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.

In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that in-sanctuary worship services are now permitted on the Family Islands where commercial activity has resumed, and drive-up services will be permitted on the remaining islands.

Services will now be permitted Saturday and Sunday during the weekend lockdowns between 7 am and 1 pm. However, drive-up services will be limited to one hour.

For the islands only permitted to have drive-up services, churches must have adequate parking to accommodate the services.

Vehicles are only permitted to have four people from the immediate household and must be parked at least three feet apart.

If a household has more than four people, a sign issued by the church leader is to be placed on their vehicle indicating this.

Communion is not permitted, neither is passing offering baskets from vehicle to vehicle.

The statement advised persons in high-risk categories not to attend any of the worship services.