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Having reviewed the Decree In Time of COVID-19 issued by mandate of Pope Francis and issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Prot. N. 153/20) on March 19, 2020, I, Daniel Miehm, hereby decree the following to be observed during Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum 2020 in the Diocese of Peterborough.

  1. The Chrism Mass will be celebrated privately at the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains on

Monday, March 30. The Bishop, Vicar General, Cathedral priests, Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs and the Diocesan M.C. will be in attendance. The sacred oils will be delivered to the Deans and distributed to parishes at a later date.

  1. The public celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion is not permitted. During the private celebration of the Mass, pastors may bless the palms and make them available at a later date when government authorities permit larger public gatherings.
  2. The celebration of the Sacred Triduum will be substantially modified, according to the directives set out below, given the restrictions currently in place in the Province of Ontario during this public health crisis, and bearing in mind provisions granted in the Decree In Time of COVID-19. 
  3. Priests are permitted to celebrate privately the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy

Thursday. The faculty to celebrate this Mass without the people is granted in an exceptional manner by the Holy See to all priests. The washing of the feet, which is

Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough P.O. Box 175, Peterborough, ON, Canada, K9J 6Y8; BishopMiehm@peterboroughdiocese.org 

already optional, is omitted. Likewise, the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose is omitted. The Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle. Priests who are unable to celebrate the Mass should instead pray Vespers that day.

  1. The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, is not to be celebrated.

Priests should instead, at the customary hour, read the Passion of the Lord from the Gospel of John and pray the Universal Prayer from the liturgy of the day, and include prayers for all those who are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. The Easter Vigil is not to be celebrated in any parish in the Diocese. Priests should pray

that night the Office of Readings for Easter Sunday. The Sacraments of Christian Initiation and the reception of candidates for Full Communion are to be postponed until a later date.

  1. On Easter Sunday, priests are to celebrate Mass without the presence of the faithful.

During the Mass they are to light the Paschal Candle and bless water using the formula on page 358 (no. 54) in the Roman Missal. (Holy water should not be put in the fonts, however, until permission to do so is given by me.) The Easter Sunday Mass will be live- streamed from the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains.

Given in Peterborough, Ontario, this 25th day of March, 2020, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Daniel Miehm Bishop of Peterborough

Rev. Joseph Devereaux Judicial Vicar / Chancellor of Spiritual Affairs

Roman Catholic Diocese of Peterborough P.O. Box 175, Peterborough, ON, Canada, K9J 6Y8; BishopMiehm@peterboroughdiocese.org