As many parts of Scotland move into Levels 1 and 2 of the Government’s protocols, the Scottish Bishops have issued renewed guidance on what this means for the celebration of Mass and other liturgies in our churches.
Note that parishes in areas designated as being in Level 3 are expected to follow the previous guidelines and restrictions until further relaxation is introduced.
In some aspects, the guidance remains unchanged (use of facemasks, safety distancing, limited numbers attending, etc). However, some aspects are subject to a degree of relaxation (sacristans and altar servers, praying the Gloria and Creed, the possibility of an Offertory procession, etc). All are subject to what seems most appropriate for the specific church building and space available. For example, a small group of singers can be invited to provide some music, provided they can be adequately distanced from each other and from other members of the congregation. This might not be possible in a smaller church. On the other hand, the inclusion of the “Gloria” on a Sunday would not add significantly to the time people are indoors together, given the greater likelihood that most adults present have been vaccinated already, and so can be safely added to the regular liturgy as before in most parishes. In summer months, there might be more possibilities for keeping doors open for ventilation, and so on.
Click below for the full guidance issued by the Bishops’ Conference as of June 2021.