Chancery Notice — Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur

As announced by the Honourable Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on August 28, the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) has been extended to Dec 31, 2020.

Sep 13, 2020


1.0 Updates to Archdiocesan Guidelines for celebrating the Sacraments
As announced by the Honourable Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on August 28, the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) has been extended to Dec 31, 2020.

Following the above announcement, the National Security Council (Majlis Keselamatan Negara – MKN) has begun overseeing the updating of SOPs for various sectors.

His Grace, Archbishop Julian Leow D.D., having been advised by the Crisis Management Task Force, has agreed to make the following adaptations to the Archdiocesan Guidelines for Celebrating the Sacraments under the RMCO and post RMCO dated June 5, 2020, (Guidelines) and additional guidelines set out in his Pastoral Letter dated July 11, 2020.

1.1 Age Restrictions and Persons in High-Risk Categories
Under the latest MKN SOP on the “Opening of Places of Worship During the RMCO Period”, updated on Sept 4, 2020 (item 3), those suffering from chronic diseases, senior citizens and children aged 12 years and below are not encouraged to attend services in places of worship. Our main priority is to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. The Parish Priest, assisted by the Parish Response Team (PRT), should, therefore, continue to issue public-health cautions and provide on-going education on the risks involved for such highrisk categories to participate in public gatherings. The Parish Priest is allowed to attach additional conditions (e.g. request for waiver or consent declarations etc) for those who have made an informed decision to come for Mass. He can also make alternative arrangements for the pastoral good of those listed under these high-risk categories in lieu of public Mass attendance (see item 1.5).

1.2 Non-Malaysian Citizens
The same SOP updated on Sept 4, 2020 (item 2) no longer prohibits non-Malaysian citizens from attending Mass and other religious activities. As such, they can now participate in any parish activity. 

1.3 Funerals
The previous SOP on Funerals, which restricted attendance at a funeral to 15 persons, has been abrogated. Hence, with immediate effect, parishes should refer and adhere to the SOP on “Opening of Places of Worship During the RMCO Period” updated on Sept 4, 2020 which is applicable for all public Masses (including funerals). Though there is currently no limit on number of attendees, social distancing and other public health safety measures must continue to be observed.

1.4 Weddings
The SOP on “Wedding Ceremonies in Non-Islamic Places of Worship and Religious Associa tions”, last updated on Aug 1, 2020, remains in effect. The restriction on a maximum number of 20 persons (including the priest and other ministers) remains. The Archdiocese will update our guidelines in accordance with the MKN SOP when it is updated and inform the parishes regarding any future revision. 

1.5 Distribution of Holy Communion
Outside Mass Given the number of high risk persons “excluded” from the weekly Sunday Masses, and not wishing to expose our front liners, priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs) to unnecessary risks, Archbishop Julian, having consulted the College of Consultors, wishes to propose the following options which could be adopted and adapted by individual parishes at the discretion of the Parish Priest:

a) Individual Appointments — Appointments could be made with the priest for confession and communion in the parish. Schedules could be provided and this could be organised through BECs with volunteers providing transport where necessary;

b) Appointing additional EMHCs — Additional EMHCs who are younger and do not have any restricting health conditions may be appointed. Parish priest could consider appointing a member of the family of the high-risk person who is “excluded”. These persons require adequate training in liturgical matters as well as public safety measures. Apart from Appendix E of the Guidelines, additional guidelines may be issued by the Parish Priest to avoid desecration of the Blessed Sacrament.

c) Designated Mass for high-risk persons — Parish Priest could designate a special Mass, apart from the weekly public Masses, for those who fall under the high-risk categories. Such a Mass would require more stringent public health measures e.g. two metres instead of one metre social distancing; seating for caregiver; Holy Communion could be brought to the person in the pew instead of requiring them to queue etc.

d) Condition and Criteria for Home Communion — Since it is advisable that the EMHCs limit distribution of Holy Communion to the homebound to just one home per day, to avoid transmitting infection, it may be necessary to explain to the home communicant that he or she may not be able to receive every week but on a rotational basis. Criteria for home communion (i.e. who gets to receive) should be determined by the Parish Priest and should be based on the two-fold principle of reaching out to as many genuine cases as possible whilst avoiding abuse of this privilege. EMHCs should adhere to the protocols set out under Appendix E of the Guidelines.

e) Drive-through Holy Communion Service — At the discretion of the Parish Priest and with consideration to the viability of the church premises for a drive-through, drive-through Holy Communion may be arranged for highrisk individuals. Great care must be taken to avoid desecration of the Blessed Sacrament and the communicant should be led through prayer and other forms of spiritual preparation to receive Holy Communion. Suggestions for prayer services may be obtained from the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission.

1.6 Sunday School, RCIA, Formations and Meetings
As the MKN SOP updated on Sept 4 now permits scheduled activities and gatherings apart from Masses, non-liturgical activities such as catechism, RCIA, formations, meetings, etc, may resume at the discretion and at the direction of the Parish Priest. Individuals and groups should seek the permission of the Parish Priest before resuming any in-person activity in the parish. 

We would strongly discourage the participation of any person falling into high-risk categories. Such activities can be conducted provided that physical distancing and other public safety requirements as per the MKN SOP and Archdiocese Guidelines are complied with.

In the event that the space is insufficient to meet these requirements or the PRT members are not available to monitor and ensure compliance with the SOP, the Parish Priest should defer such in-person gatherings to a later date where such activities could be done in a safe manner. Pursuant to the above, we attach an updated version of Appendix I* of the Guidelines (Sunday school, RCIA, Formations and Meetings).

1.7 Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC)
At the discretion and direction of the Parish Priest, BEC gatherings may resume. BECs should not hold people gatherings without receiving the approval from the Parish Priest. It is important to note, however, that those who fall under high-risk categories are strongly discouraged from attending such home gatherings. We would still encourage, if this is feasible, the members of the BECs to stay connected using the digital platform.

We attach an updated version of Appendix J* of the Guidelines (New Way of Being Church — BECs) for those parishes and BECs who are planning to resume in-person meetings.

1.8 Education and Adherence of SOPs, Guidelines and Public Health Advisories
The Parish Priest and the PRT must ensure that all those who are now allowed to attend parish activities are informed and briefed with regards to the MKN SOP, Archdiocesan Guidelines, and any other parish protocols.

As per the MKN SOP, face masks continue to be mandatory, the use of toilets limited, physical distancing implemented including avoiding physical touch when greeting, and dispersing immediately when activities have concluded.

Everyone must continue to adhere to health advisories issued by the Ministry of Health, including practising the 3W’s of Wash, Wear and Warn.

2.0 Pastoral Posting of Deacon Bonaventure Rayappan
Rev Deacon Bonaventure Rayappan has been posted to the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Klang, with effect Sept 1, 2020.

3.0 Deacon Adrian Ng
Deacon Adrian Ng, who is a permanent deacon incardinated in the Diocese of Malacca Johore and who is currently on leave from his diocese, has been engaged contractually as a full-time Pastoral associate for the Church of the Holy Family, Kajang for a period of six months, subject to review. He will be primarily working with the campus ministry and migrants’ outreach under the supervision of the Parish Priest of HFC.

He will not be exercising any liturgical or ministerial duties as a deacon during his tenure.

4.0 Annual Clergy Retreat
The Clergy of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur will be having their annual retreat from Sept 21 to 24, 2020. Kindly keep the clergy of the Archdiocese in your prayers as they undertake this privileged time of spiritual renewal.

5.0 Chrism Mass
The annual Chrism Mass for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, which had been deferred due to the MCO, will be celebrated on Sept 24 at 10.30am in the Church of St Anthony, Jalan Robertson, Kuala Lumpur. Due to the limited seats and the requirements of the MKN SOP, this Mass will not be open to the public. Those who wish to follow the livestreaming of this Mass may do so through our web channel. 

Fr Michael Chua Chancellor
Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur

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