Sacred Heart Parish Westmead

COVID-19 & Liturgical Celebrations


Following Federal Government orders, Sacred Heart Church, like all places of worship and many other indoor gathering spaces, has now reopened in compliance with social distancing regulations. 

Funerals
Funerals are still permitted with a small number of attendees but if it takes place in a church building the social distancing rules must be observed. In the circumstances you might consider simply conducting a grave side service or using the crematorium chapel with a small number of mourners (very immediate family) and schedule a memorial Mass when the current crisis is declared over.
Weddings
Marriages are permitted to take place and like funerals the instruction is that only a very small number of people may gather and again the social distancing rules are to be observed.
Baptism
It is suggested that baptism of infants not take place at this time unless the baptism is in case of emergency.
Penance
Given that the church cannot be used it places an extraordinary burden on priests as to how to respond to a request for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is suggested that each priest use his own discretion as to how to handle such requests.
Anointing of Sick
Individual request for the Sacrament of the Sick should be attended to in the manner described in the previous Ad Clerum (5/20).
Holy Week
You will find attached a Decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments concerning the liturgical celebrations during Holy Week this year. I would ask that you make suitable preparations in your parishes for these liturgies to be celebrated with the necessary restraints in place. It is anticipated that all the Holy Week liturgies will be “live streamed” from the Cathedral with Bishop Vincent.
Funerals
Funerals are still permitted with a small number of attendees but if it takes place in a church building the social distancing rules must be observed. In the circumstances you might consider simply conducting a grave side service or using the crematorium chapel with a small number of mourners (very immediate family) and schedule a memorial Mass when the current crisis is declared over.
Weddings
Marriages are permitted to take place and like funerals the instruction is that only a very small number of people may gather and again the social distancing rules are to be observed.
Baptism
It is suggested that baptism of infants not take place at this time unless the baptism is in case of emergency.
Penance
Given that the church cannot be used it places an extraordinary burden on priests as to how to respond to a request for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is suggested that each priest use his own discretion as to how to handle such requests.
Anointing of Sick
Individual request for the Sacrament of the Sick should be attended to in the manner described in the previous Ad Clerum (5/20).
Holy Week
You will find attached a Decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments concerning the liturgical celebrations during Holy Week this year. I would ask that you make suitable preparations in your parishes for these liturgies to be celebrated with the necessary restraints in place. It is anticipated that all the Holy Week liturgies will be “live streamed” from the Cathedral with Bishop Vincent.

Funerals are still permitted with a limited number of attendees with respect to social distancing regulations, mostly immediate family, larger 'public' funerals are to be avoided. Grave side services or use of a crematorium chapel with a small number of mourners are possible for non-Eucharistic services. A memorial Mass can be celebrated when the current crisis is declared over. Regardless of where the ceremony takes place, social distancing regulations must be observed.

Weddings are permitted to take place. Limited numbers of people may gather, social distancing regulations must be observed.

Baptisms are permitted to take place. Limited numbers of people may gather, social distancing regulations must be observed.

Penance (Reconciliation) Given that the church cannot currently be used for public services, regularly scheduled times for the Sacrament of Penance cannot continue. People in urgent need of Reconciliation are to contact the priest to arrange a mutually suitable time. 

Anointing of Sick Individual requests for the Sacrament should be directed to the priest. 

Also, following Diocesan directives, all parish meetings will be temporarily suspended.


The Parish Sacramental Program has been amended for 2020.

We request that during these difficult times you also consider the ongoing financial support of the parish through the Planned Giving Program, and donation during Mass.

The parish office will update our parishioners as soon as any further information comes to hand, through the bulletin, our facebook page or via our website.

Daily and Sunday Masses can be streamed online via CathNews  https://www.youtube.com/user/cathnews
Other live streaming sites will be listed in coming days.