23 March 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:
Precautionary Measures Concerning COVID-19 from 30th March and Beyond
Infections due to COVID-19 continue to spread on a global scale, with severe cases being reported one after another in various places. As you all know, Church activities such as “public masses” have been suspended in many countries around the world.
Taking into consideration the recent views of the government’s Expert Meeting last 19 March, the Tokyo Archdiocese has determined the following specific measures in response to the situation from 30 March onward:
1: All parishioners of the Tokyo Archdiocese are dispensed from their obligation to attend Sunday mass for the time being from 30 March (Monday) onward.
2: From 30 March (Monday) and beyond, all “public masses” with unspecified number of people attending will also be suspended for the time being.
3: Concerning weddings and funerals, kindly take adequate precautionary measures against infection before proceeding as usual.
4: For other events, except for small gatherings of up to about 20 persons, kindly consider as much as possible postponing or canceling them. In case of holding such events, in addition to hand disinfection, kindly provide sufficient ventilation, keep a distance between each other, and try to finish the gathering as quickly as possible.
5: The Holy Week liturgy, including the Chrism Mass, will not be celebrated in public. However, concerning baptisms on Easter Sunday, kindly follow the instructions of your parish priest.
6: In order to protect life, especially those of the elderly and with chronic disease, we call on everyone to be united with the community in prayer while staying at home.
7: For those who would like to offer their special donations during this liturgical season, including “Donation with Love” of the Lenten Campaign, kindly consult personally your parish priest.
In addition to continuing the broadcast of the Sunday mass via internet, we will also be live streaming the Holy Week liturgy with the help of a parishioner of Sekiguchi Church.
Concerning the video streaming, it may not always be possible to provide subtitles. And so, I ask for your understanding since we are relying on the generous service of the person who volunteered to take charge of the broadcast.
Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo