The Government of Alberta’s public health measures are being lifted in 3 steps:
Alberta will enter Step 3 on June 14 at 11:59 pm. All remaining health restrictions will be lifted at that time. Masking will no longer be mandatory on public transit. Isolation will become a recommendation.
The Archdiocese regularly updates these guidelines as new information is confirmed.
Return to Mass: COVID dispensation lifted as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022
09 May 2022
OFFICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In March of 2020, the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories issued for the people of their respective dioceses a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation. We did this with the intent of safeguarding the health and well-being of the faithful in the midst of the global pandemic. The dispensation gave to our faithful the freedom to choose not to participate in person in large liturgical gatherings, and thus help to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we encouraged our faithful to maintain bonds of spiritual communion by participating in liturgical actions available through electronic means.
With the significant lessening in recent months of pandemic danger both provincially and globally, we are now at a stage where the necessity of maintaining the dispensation has receded. Accordingly, the Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories will lift the dispensation as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022. Each bishop will issue a decree to this effect in their respective dioceses.
Participation in Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation is a duty that is at once sacred and joyful. It springs from the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day. In the Christian tradition, the Sabbath is Sunday, when we celebrate with joy the victory of the Risen Christ over death. Regular celebration of Sunday Mass gives to our lives right order, it builds and reinforces our communion with and in Christ, it places the worship of God before all else and orients us toward our ultimate destiny in Christ.
With you, we rejoice in the return to gathering in person to worship God at Sunday Mass, and to living the Sabbath fully with our parish community, family, and friends. It is our hope that the fulfillment of our sacred duty to worship God on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will spur us along the path of spiritual renewal.
At the same time, acknowledging the continuing presence of Covid-19 in our midst, we encourage anyone showing signs of the illness, and vulnerable persons, to avail themselves of the means of spiritual communion that will continue to be available for some time still.
May the celebration of Pentecost Sunday inspire us to rejoice in worshipping the Lord always. “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
Yours sincerely in Christ,
✠Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
Download this Letter of Reinstatement (PDF, 2 pages)
Download the Official Decree (PDF, 1 page)
STEP 2 Health & Safety Guidelines
February 28, 2022: Premier Jason Kenney has announced new public health actions that will move the Province of Alberta to Step 2 of the 3 Step plan for easing COVID-19 protocols. You can access the complete details on the 3-step implementation of the government from alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx
Step 2 Principles
- People are asked to exercise respect, charity, and kindness in respecting people’s comfort level, especially during these steps of transition.
- The wearing of masks is no longer required by the Province, but people are free, if they choose, to continue the use of facemasks, including the clergy and those serving in a liturgical capacity.
- Note: It is possible that some municipalities may have a municipal face-covering bylaw or any other health and safety measure that is not in alignment with the approach of the Province. Please check with your municipality when in doubt.
- People who have symptoms not related to a pre-existing condition should avoid going to the church or being in public as a courtesy to others.
- Promote proper hand hygiene by having hand washing/sanitizing posters visible and placing hand sanitizer stations in convenient and accessible locations.
- Make every effort to encourage respiratory etiquette (e.g., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in a lined garbage bin)
- Parishes that have been livestreaming Masses are encouraged to continue providing this service for two reasons:
- Allowing the parishioners to decide for themselves whether to attend Mass in person or via livestream depending on their comfort level and/or health condition(s).
- Maintaining this option in case the Province implements new restrictions during a resurgence of cases and/or another wave from a new variant of concern.
Liturgical Music Ministry
- Congregational singing is allowed.
- The use of hymnbooks may resume.
- Choirs may resume their ministry
- The use of a cantor/cantors without a choir remains a valid option.
- Parishes are able to decide the size of the choir for their church.
- In addition to the entrance hymn, communion hymn and the recessional hymn, the singing/chanting of the gloria (when indicated), responsorial psalm, gospel acclamation, offertory, and Mass parts may resume.
- Note: Par. 4 of the Roman Missal, “During Lent, it is not permitted to decorate the altar with flowers, and the use of musical instrument is allowed only so as to support the singing. Nevertheless, Laetare Sunday (the Forth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions to this rule” (page 192).
- Parishes have the ability to decide whether to continue with the current practice of having the collection baskets/boxes near the entrance of the nave or to resume the passing of the collection baskets.
- Parishes that have collection baskets with the long handles are also permitted to have ushers use them in the collection.
- Any of the approved second collection will be collected in the same manner as the Sunday collection.
Presentation of the Gifts
- Parishes have the ability to decide whether to continue with the current practice of having the hosts and wine placed on a credence table in the sanctuary prior to Mass or to resume the offertory procession for the presentation of the gifts of the hosts, wine, and the Sunday collection.
Sign of Peace
- At this time, the congregation is asked to exchange peace with people outside of their household with a bow and not by a handshake.
- Hand sanitizer should be made available at the credence table and near communion lines.
- Priests who are celebrating and concelebrating must receive both the Body and Blood at every Mass.
- Deacons, servers, lay ministers, and the faithful receive only under one species – the consecrated host.
- Children celebrating First Communion will also only receive under one species – the consecrated host.
- Concelebrants are allowed to receive Holy Communion by self-intinction. Other chalices will be provided. At this time, only the celebrant partakes of the Precious Blood from the main chalice.
Funeral Receptions, Parish Social Gatherings, and Private Functions
- Funeral receptions, parish social gatherings, and private functions may now resume in parish halls.
- It is recommended for Step 2 that food and beverages be served at food/beverage stations at funeral receptions and parish social gatherings to avoid commonly touched items and surfaces.
- It is also recommended for Step 2 that servers serving at funeral receptions and parish social gatherings wear face masks when serving food.
These latest Public Health Emergency rules take precedence over all previous guidance.
Download the Memo: March 1, 2022 – Step 2 – COVID 19 Memo
Download the Announcement: March 1, 2022 – COVID 19 Step 2 Announcement
Step 2 – Effective March 1:
(based on information available on February 28, 2022)
- Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
- Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
- Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
- Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
- The provincial mask mandate will be lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in high-risk settings, including on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.
- Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours will be lifted
- Mandatory work-from-home requirements will be removed.
Liturgical Guidance during COVID
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass ENDED as of Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022
- Growing in Holiness during Pandemic
- On Living without the Eucharist
- What is an Indulgence?
- Explaining Marian Consecration
- How to celebrate Easter this year
- On Cancellation of Skaro Pilgrimage
- Supporting our Parish
- Message to Engaged Couples
- Message to the Catholic Deaf Community (in ASL)
- Message to the Elderly & Isolated
- Message to Healthcare Workers
- Message to Catholic Educators
- Message to Catechumens and Candidates
- Cancellations of Summer Camps
AB/NWT Bishops Pastoral Letter “On the Impact of COVID-19 & the Call to Christian Renewal”
- 14 September 2020 – “A Pastoral Statement Impact Of COVID-19 & the Call to Christian Renewal”
Archbishop Smith’s Letters & Messages
- 26 May 2020 – Archbishop Smith’s Letter: A Gradual Return to Publicly Celebrated Mass (EN)
- 26 May 2020 – Lettre de l’archevêque Smith: Retour graduel à la messe célébrée en public (FR)
- 08 April 2020 – A Message for Easter 2020
- 27 March 2020 – Archbishop’s Message explaining Indulgences during the Pandemic
- 16 March 2020 – Public Masses Cancelled until Further Notice
From Pope Francis
- Prayer for Protection in Time of Pandemic
- Letter to the Faithful for the Month of May 2020 (includes 2 Marian prayers that can be recited at end of Rosary)
Join in an online Mass from your parish’s website or social media. If your parish does not have this, you can join with Archbishop Smith every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. from St. Joseph’s Basilica. All Basilica livestreams (including all Sunday Masses):
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/yegbasilica/live
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yegbasilica/live
- TELUS Optik TV: Channel 877 will livestream all Sunday Masses at 10:30 a.m.
Only for special feast days or archdiocesan events with Archbishop Smith (except Sunday Masses), the Basilica account WILL livestream these if it happens at the Basilica:
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/archedmonton/live
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/archedmonton/live
Spiritual Communion is an act of prayer that can be used when participating in the Mass remotely.
- Spiritual Communion Prayer Card – B&W (4 cards on a letter-sized page)
- Spiritual Communion Prayer Card – Colour (4 cards on a letter-sized page)
Archdiocesan Updates for Parishes and Staff
- Mar. 23, 2020 – Update 5 – Pastoral & Administration Offices closed to Public
- Mar. 13, 2020 – Update 4 – Sunday Obligation; Continuing Mass, Outreach, Continuing Vigilance
- Mar. 11, 2020 – Update 3 – Sunday Obligation, Empty Fonts, No Handshakes or Distribution from Chalice
- Mar. 06, 2020 – Update 2 – Good Hygiene, Stay Home if Sick
- Feb. 28, 2020 – Update 1 – Precautions and Advice
- Sept. 28, 2020 – HR Update 16 – Transition from CERB to EI
- July 29, 2020 – HR Update 15 – Paper ROE (Record of Employment) Processing
- July 15, 2020 – HR Update 14 – LTB Benefits and Recruitment
- July 02, 2020 – HR Update 13 – Priests, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy update (Clergy – internal only, not linked)
- May 26, 2020 – HR Update 12 – Priests, Temporary layoff recall (Clergy – internal only, not linked)
- May 14, 2020 – HR Update 11 – CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) and the SUB plan
- May 08, 2020 – HR Update 10 – Benefits and Subsidies
- Apr. 28, 2020 – HR Update 9 – PAO Staff Update
- Apr. 24, 2020 – HR Update 8 – Parish processing Payroll, ROE and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Apr. 20, 2020 – HR Update 7 – Government plans Update
- Apr. 08, 2020 – HR Update 6 – Priests, Updated Q&A (Clergy – internal only, not linked)
- Apr. 03, 2020 – HR update 5 – Priests, Q&A (Clergy – internal only, not linked)
- Mar. 30, 2020 – HR Update 4 – Priests, support documents (Clergy – internal only, not linked)
- Mar. 27, 2020 – HR Update 3 – Priests, Parishes & Staff (Clergy/Office – internal only, not linked)
- Mar. 18, 2020 – HR Update 2 – Physical Distancing, Self-isolation, Working Remotely
- Mar. 13, 2020 – HR Update 1 – Isolating after Travel, No Medical Note Required
Mental Health Support
If you, or a loved one, is feeling mental health distress, please call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
- Protecting your Mental Health – Canadian Mental Health Association page with resources on maintaining your mental health
- Sunlife Employee Assistance Program – Available for staff who are enrolled in the Archdiocese benefits programs
- Help in Tough Times – Alberta Health Services resources page with support for you or someone you know. You can find information on items such as COVID-19, Social support, Stress, Mental Health, Grief support, and even in finding Healthcare Services.