Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Pastoral Letter concerning Easter and Covid-19

Dear People of God

With Easter approaching and scientists and government officials in South Africa warning against a "third wave" of coronavirus, our Covid-19 Provincial Advisory Team and I are anxious that the Church at all levels should be extra-cautious to keep every member of our congregations safe over the next few weeks.

In consequence, I want to draw your specific attention to the revised and updated coronavirus guidelines the Advisory Team issued on March 18, and in particular the supplementary guidelines issued on March 24 on funerals in cases of Covid-19 related deaths. Please read them carefully and implement them strictly.

In addition, on the advice of the Advisory Team, Maundy Thursday services must be kept to a one-hour maximum and foot-washing in any form is NOT permitted. Foot-washing cannot be performed under health protocols, since we would not be maintaining social distance, we would be breaking the prohibition on touching and we would increase the possibility of droplet spread because of the proximity of others and the time washing takes.

These matters, especially concerning funerals, are sensitive for our people and we are conscious that clergy in particular have a hard time explaining them to grieving families. But we have no choice if we are to prevent our people from falling ill and dying. You should feel free to invoke my authority in enforcing the restrictions.

A blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter to you.

† Thabo Cape Town

Update:  Since this letter was issued, Bishops have pointed out that families may want to use elements of the Maundy Thursday evening service at home, see Anglican Prayer Book pages 183-186.

1 comment:

  1. Your Grace, Thanks for being pastoral and caring. God bless you. Canon Reg Gersbach

    ReplyDelete

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