To Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Accra

Dearly Beloved,

3rd  June 2020


Peace be with you.


On Sunday,  31st May 2020,  the President  of the Republic  announced  the easing of some of the imposed restrictions due to the COVID-19  pandemic.  He indicated  that Church  services  could resume  on Sunday,  7th June 2020 with a congregation  of 25%  in attendance   with  a maximum  of hundred  (100)  congregants,   the registering  of names and contact details  of worshippers  at any given service,  among  others.  As a follow-up  to this announcement,   the Priests’  Council met on Monday  1st  June to discuss the implications  of these measures  on our pastoral  work.   This meeting  was enriched  by a document  submitted  by the Catholic  Health  Professionals’   Guild.  I  thank our Health Professionals  whose suggestions   have largely been adopted  in writing  this letter.

I  wish to emphasize  from the outset  that even though  churches  are permitted   to congregate   with not more  than hundred  (100) people  from Sunday 7th June 2020, no parish or church  in the Archdiocese   is obliged  to implement this unless the requisite  logistics  that guarantee  a safe opening  and operation  have been put in place.  In deciding on this,  Parish  Priests  are to work  with  their  Parish  Councils  bearing  in mind that the  safety  and well-being  of parishioners  override  all other considerations.

MattersNeeding Immediate Attention

  1. Fumigation  and Disinfection  of Churches

Pastors together with their Parish Councils  are to ensure  that churches  and their surroundings  are fumigated.  This exercise  is  to be done  before any church  is  opened  for public  use. We are also required  to disinfect  the churches after each use.

  1. 2. Parish  COVID-19  Team

Each parish I church is to immediately  establish  a COVID-19  Team to guide, advice and accompany  parishioners throughout  the pandemic  period.  The Team  should  comprise  medical  experts  and persons  with  some technical knowledge  to help in handling  the pandemic.   They  are to work with the Parish  Priest  to ensure  adherence  to the

safety  measures.

General Considerations

In addition  to implementing   Government’s    directives  on health  and safety protocols  such as provision  of hand• washing  facilities,  hand sanitizers,   digital  thermometers,   observing  social  distancing,  wearing  of face-masks,  etc. the following  are also to be observed:

  1. I) Parishioners  who assist  in counting  Collections  shall take necessary  precautions   including  wearing  of gloves,  face masks  and using  sanitizers  as and when
  2. II) Designated  entrances  and exits should  be marked  where

III)       Observe  social distancing  measures  at times for offertory,   collection,  Communion  and other activities that may involve   physical   contact  and also in the seating  arrangements  by marking  pews.

  1. IV) Baptisms,  marriages,  burial Masses and other Church gatherings  must be performed  following  current public   health  norms regarding  social distancing  and hygiene.
  2. V) For  Sunday   Masses,  there  will   be one-hour  duration  between  one  Mass  and the  other  to  allow  the disinfection  of pews and chairs before the next Mass.  Each Mass  is to last not more than an
  3. VI) Sunday  School/Children   Services  are suspended  during this period.

Targeted Recommendations

  1. I) In the case of concelebration,   the main celebrant  uses the principal    Other  chalices  should  be provided  for concelebrating   priests  who will communicate  by intinction.
  2. II) There shall be a maximum  of five choristers  and two altar servers,  if need be,  at M III)       Face masks  shall be used by all in the church at all times.
  3. IV) Priests   shall   wash   their   hands   or  use  sanitizers   before   going   to  distribute    Holy   Communion.

Communion  for the faithful  shall be received  only in the hand.

  1. V) Liturgical  robes  for choristers,   lectors,  ushers  and altar servers  are not to be used during this time. VI)       Microphones  should  be disinfected  after each use.


For pastoral  reasons,  I  grant  permission   for Priests  to  offer  anticipatory   Masses  on  Saturday  evenings  where needed.   Also,  each Priest has my permission   to celebrate  two Masses on Weekdays  and three Masses  on Sundays (cf. Canon  905).   Masses  can be celebrated   concurrently   in the church,  at the grotto  or  in the parish  hall at any given  time.  I  entreat  Pastors  to ensure  that places  outside  the church  where  the Eucharist  will be celebrated  has the proper  decorum and reverence.

Lastly,   I encourage  parishes  to continue  with the online streaming  of Holy Masses  and Catechesis   for the home• bound and those who,  for some other reasons,  are unable to congregate  physically.  In addition,  the telecasting  of Holy Masses will continue.

While  thanking   you  for your  sustained   efforts  in the  past  months  during  this  pandemic,   I encourage   you  to earnestly  pray for the end to the COVID-19   pandemic  so that we return to our regular  liturgical  life. May Mary, the Mother of the afflicted,   intercede  for us.


Most Rev.  John Bonaventure  K wofie

Metropolitan  Archbishop  of Accra and

Apostolic  Administrator   of Sekondi-Takoradi   Diocese


Covid-19 Accra Circular on Resumption of Public Worship