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2021 Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage to take place online

This year’s Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage is once again going online.

The five-day pilgrimage which attracts thousands of mostly indigenous people from across Canada will be strictly spiritual and not physical. The year’s pilgrimage July 24-28 will held online in an effort to maintain social distancing, protect pilgrims — many of whom are elderly or in poor health — and avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The pilgrimage site, west of Edmonton, is closed. There will be no camping or on-site visits.

Instead, organizers hope to keep alive the enduring spirit of the healing and spiritual renewal pilgrimage with a virtual Lac Ste Anne event that includes livestreamed Masses celebrated by bishops from Alberta and the Northwest Territories, video messages, and other programming.

The Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage website will be the main hub for the online content.

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COVID restrictions eased

The provincial government has announced their open for summer plan that documents the various stages of easing COVID-19 restrictions. 

In summary, here are the key highlights and relevant updates for places of worship: 

Beginning Friday, May 28, 2021

  • The capacity limit for worship services goes back to the 15% of the fire code occupancy.
  • There will be no change on funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
  • Masks remain mandatory.

Beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2021

  • Wedding ceremonies may have up to 10 people, including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses and any photographers/videographers. Receptions remain prohibited. NOTE: The government has now included photographers and videographers to the 10 people allowed. The Archdiocese does not consider the soloist and the instrumentalist included in the 10 people allowed.
  • Funerals: Funeral ceremonies may have up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Baptisms: The Archdiocese continues to limit the attendees to 10 people for Baptisms.
  • House Blessings: We continue to recommend that house blessings (inside gatherings) happen only after stage 2 begins.

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Archdiocese announces expanded restrictions

We look forward to the time when we can all worship together, in person. Respecting these restrictions will get our community to that point sooner rather than later. To promote consistency and hopefully avoid as much confusion as possible, the following restrictions will be in effect in all parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton regardless of regions and number of cases in regions.

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VIDEO: Archbishop Smith Speaks On New Health Restrictions

There are new worship restrictions province-wide effective immediately.
Stay-tuned for information from His Grace later this week on updated measures. 

From the Alberta government website for places of worship:

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees. 
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times. 
  • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended. 
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed. 

For funerals: 

  • 10-people maximum for funerals, including participants and guests.
  • Funeral receptions are not permitted. 

https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx

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