Framework Document for a Return to the Public Celebration of Mass and the Sacraments


I hope each day to provide an update on how parishes should be carrying out preparations for the return to Public Worship in our Churches planned for 29 June.

I know that in most parishes, preparations are well underway but it can be useful to receive reminders and checklists.  With the Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre, we are preparing a more detailed document to complement the general Framework.


  1. Today I would like to draw attention to building up our pastoral teams in order to be ready for the opening.


Each parish should have a core parish team to monitor and supervise progress.  This core group should not be too large but should coordinate the contribution of such people as priests, deacons, full-time parish workers, sacristans, representatives of the Parish Pastoral Council and parish liturgy groups.


Its first task is to identify a clear parish plan.  This should be completed by the end of next week and sent in signed copy to me. 


Next, it should work out a plan to recruit volunteers who will be needed to ensure that the management of the reopened Churches functions as it should.  In general, volunteers will be needed for stewarding, both inside and outside the Church.  Someone will have to monitor an adequate supply of materials needed, including for signage and sanitizing.   Volunteers will be needed to supervise cleaning after each service.


It will be necessary to indicate the maximum number of people who can enter the Church with safe social distancing (including people with special needs).  The plan should examine how to limit entry to that number and how to manage if numbers exceed what is safe.


  1.  Unfortunately I have been receiving complaints about very large numbers attending funeral services.  The government norms are that only 25 people may attend a funeral and this is limited still to relatives and very close friends and not the general public. It is important to remember that the opening of Churches on 29 June is still conditional on the progress of the virus and on our ability to monitor numbers.  


+Diarmuid Martin

Thursday, June 11th 2020