Dear Members of Narashino Church
✞May the peace of the Lord be with you.
Today (January 21), I received a notice from Archbishop Kikuchi, "In accordance with the implementation of priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease”. The important parts are as follows
The new year has arrived, but the days continue to be unsettled due to the infectious disease control measures. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have been cooperating in the fight against infectious diseases in parishes and other places in the Diocese of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Chiba Prefecture have been placed under the Priority Measures for the Prevention of Spread of Infectious Diseases from today, January 21 through February 13.
The daily number of new positive cases being reported have increased dramatically, and it is expected that it will take some time before the additional or booster vaccinations are completed.
In the Tokyo Diocese, we will continue the current stage 3 infection control measures and make efforts to prevent infection. Please refer to the following and take infection control measures in your parishes and other locations.
Stage 3 measures after January 21, 2022
1: Limit the number of people in the chapel to maintain a distance of about one meter from each other. Family members who live together may be seated together. If the structure of the chapel does not allow for adequate ventilation or spacing, the chapel may not be used for liturgy. After Mass, please leave the church promptly in order and refrain from "greeting" or "standing around" in the chapel.
2: If you are elderly or have an underlying medical condition, please pray at home if possible. However, there will be no age restriction in the chapel. If a family member expresses concern, please pray at home as well. The obligation to attend Mass on the Lord's Day will continue to be waived for all parishioners.
3: Face-to-face activities other than Mass, such as meetings, conferences, gatherings, study groups, etc., should be held online whenever possible, but can be held with careful consideration of the venue's capacity (about half of its capacity), ventilation, and time (about an hour and a half at most). Please refrain from events that involve food.
Once again, in these difficult times, let us remember the invisible bonds that bind us together as a church community. As we begin a new year, let us renew our trust in the Lord to be with us and walk with us. Let us continue to pray and ask God the Father for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us get through this difficult time as quickly as possible.
St. Agnes Martyr, January 21, 2022
Parish Priest Joseph Dinh