For Roman Catholics in the Halifax-Yarmouth Archdiocese, Sunday may be the last chance to attend mass for awhile.
Beginning on Monday, all masses — both weekday and Sunday — and all other liturgical gatherings will be suspended until further notice. The measure is being taken as a precaution to COVID-19.
“This action is taken as an expression of reasonability for the well-being of all entrusted to our care, as well as the common good of the broader community,” Archbishop Anthony Mancini and Rev. Robert Doyle wrote in a letter dated March 13, 2020.
The letter, addressed to “priests, deacons and faithful,” noted Premier Stephen McNeil’s request that all gatherings be limited to no more than 150 people.
Directions on funerals, weddings and Holy Week are coming, the letter said.
In addition to mass and liturgical gatherings, the suspension also applies to all other large parish gatherings.
The archdiocese is recommending churches remain open so people can come in “personal prayer, for adoration of the reserved Sacrament, or private devotions.”
It is also recommending people watch mass on television and meditate on the scriptures for each Sunday.
Priests are expected to celebrate mass privately and to continue to make themselves available for pastoral care.