FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL HINDU DEVOTEES
PHASE 3 RE-OPENING FOR RELIGIOUS ACTIVITES AT HINDU TEMPLES
1. MCCY released the advisory for Phase 3 on 26 Dec 2020 that explains the measures that come into place from 28 Dec 2020. The advisory allows for more devotees within temples at any one time and for religious services at ancillary buildings which are within the temple complex. The advisory also allows live music and performances for religious services at the temples. The above is subject to safe management measures. All stated numbers are upper limits and not absolute, that is, temples may decide to allow lesser than allowed limit based on space available at the temple to implement all safe management measures.
B. At the temple
- Devotees can participate in groups not exceeding 8 persons. There must be a 1 metre safe distance between groups.
- There can be up to 250 persons at any one time at the place of worship subject to safe management measures and safe capacity of the premises. Any increase in numbers is based on approval of Safe Management Plan submitted to MCCY. Temples with lesser space may decide to cap the number much lesser than 250. The total number includes all transient devotees and those attending pre- booked ceremonies. It excludes temple staff and essential number of volunteers.
- Devotees at Hindu temples are expected to be transient. The transient devotees must keep moving and not congregate or stop or stay within the temple for reason. For a moving devotee line, no zoning is required. But if any time the devotees are expected to be static such as at any festival or in a pre- booked ceremony, devotees must be divided into zones with a maximum of 50 persons in each zone.
- Zone must be separated with solid partitions or at least 3m physical spacing with no inter-mingling between zones. There should be separate entry and exit from each zone.
- All religious services must be kept to the minimum duration possible. This is especially so when devotees are not transient and are present in a zone, Services lasting for more than an hour must be strictly avoided.
- Processions involving devotees within the temple such as Paal Kudam Abishegam to be avoided. This causes delay as the devotees wait till their offering is done.
- Religious services and events should not be promoted intensely to avoid a larger than usual crowd. The temple may perform the rituals on behalf of the devotees without their physical presence. Further, live streaming such events will reduce the numbers present.
- No food to be served to devotees before or after any religious event. Packed food may be distributed as they exit the temple and should not be allowed to be consumed within the temple complex.
- Facility for safe entry and temperature scanning must be put in place. The scanning of TraceTogether Tokens must be made available and devotees must be encouraged to download the TraceTogether App on their mobile phone. Trace Together will be made mandatory in the months to come and best to start educating the devotees who visit the temples.
- Masks must be worn at all times within the temple including priests/staff. Priests who are conducting a ritual may remove the mask for the duration of chanting and are encouraged to wear a face shield. Children younger than 6 may not wear a face mask but are encouraged to wear them or a face shield.
C. Live Singing (Chanting) and Playing of Musical Instruments
12. Live singing and chanting are allowed at the religious organisations with necessary safe management measures in place
- Up to 10 persons are allowed to unmask when conducting a religious service. Of these 10, only 5are allowed to chant or sing.
- There must be at least 3 metres between this group of priests conducting the ritual and devotees
- Devotees must remain masked at all times and are not allowed to sing or chant. This means thereshould not be group singing or Bhajans conducted at the temple.
- Musical instruments meant for religious purposes can be played from a safe distance. Allmusicians must also be wearing face masks except those who are playing a wind instrument suchas Nadeswaram.
- Wind instruments must be directed away from devotee presence. Temple instruments shouldpreferably be played from a static position and should not be moving along with devotees.
D. No distribution of prayer items
- Avoid giving Vibuthi, Kumkuman, Thirtham, Thulasi, Kalanji, Prasadam etc. in the hands of the devotees. Containers with spoons for self-service should also be avoided. Packets of Vibuthi or Kumkumam can be provided for devotees to pick up from containers. In the same way, garlands, shawls, Parivattam and Sadari to be avoided. They may be offered on a platter to those who are doing the religious service.
- It is recommended that Archanais are done in bulk at pre-stipulated hours rather than individually especially during peak hours/days and festivals to avoid bunching of devotees and delay in the transient devotee movement. On quieter days, Archanais may be performed when devotees are present.
- Devotees should not handover flowers, milk, honey, garlands, etc. directly to the priest but place them on the tables provided to be adorned later.
E. Wedding at the Temple sanctum or Temple wedding hall
- Up to 100 attendees excluding priests, other religious workers and solemnizer, may attend a wedding based on capacity of the venue. The core wedding party consisting of close family and friends, who are required or expected to interact, can comprise of up to 20.
- The 100 guests allowed are fixed guests and cannot be swapped with new guests as previous guests leave the wedding.
- Number of guests at sanctum weddings must be controlled to ensure safe distancing. Sanctum weddings may take guidance from ‘wedding party’ number of 20.
- If the guest numbers exceed 50, zones must be introduced with 50 persons each. Each zone must have a separate entry and exit.
- For weddings taking place at the temples, both Thavil and Nadeswaram, can be used but to be placed at a safe distance of at least 3m.
- No reception or serving of food is allowed after a wedding. Bento box meals may be distributed as guests leave the wedding venue.
- Funerals, wakes and death prayers may involve up to 30 attendees if held outside of the house. If held within the house, please follow house visiting rules.
- Post death rites at the beach to be kept to a minimum number possible not exceeding 30 persons. Safe distancing must be practiced during the rites.
G. Other religious services
- Temples may conduct other religious services concurrently at the place of worship such as religious classes or related activities with gatherings not exceeding 50 persons, subject to safe distancing and other safe management measures appropriate to the nature of the religious activity.
- Other religious services are capped at maximum cap of 150 persons of three 50-person zones. There must be separate entry and exit for each of the zones. It is a fixed 50-person rule rather than swapping with new devotees. There should not be any queues forming for these religious services and sufficient directional signs must be displayed.
- These other religious services must be avoided on days when the temples will be attracting a larger devotee numbers so as to reduce the overall numbers at the premises.
We seek the cooperation and understanding of all Hindu devotees. We pray for the well-being of everyone in Singapore.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Email: [email protected]
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Email: [email protected]
Sri Sivan Temple
Email: [email protected]
Sri Vairavimada Kaliamman Temple
Email: [email protected]
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