Priests informally discuss ways to manage services when churches are re-opened

The archbishop and priests of Madras-Mylapore diocese have been informally discussing ways to manage religious services in churches when orders are issued for places of worship to to re-opened to the public.

Churches face some unique challenges since the community gathers daily for Holy Mass; on weekdays, anywhere between 50 and 100 people attend the morning Mass in local churches. On Sundays though, that number jumps to 500 – 1000.

Priests suggest that Masses be increased and each Mass allotted to people who belong to a bunch of anbiyams ( wards) besides guests.

Sanitisation will be key here and making people sit apart will also be a challenge.

Priests also wonder if Masses can be kept simple and limited to 30 mins. and the congregation asked not to congregate after Mass and socialise on the campus.

Also, Holy Communion wafer which is placed by the priest on a ┬áperson’s tongue can be given in their hands ( this practice was introduced some years ago but was withdrawn in many churches).

One Comment on “Priests informally discuss ways to manage services when churches are re-opened”

  1. Hi,

    I agree. But the attitude and knowledge of hygiene is lacking everywhere.

    I had stopped receiving Holy Communion when I saw a priest being unhygienic, 3 Sundays before the lockdown.

    I have following suggestions:

    Strict restriction on numbers, social distancing on all sides- beside, and front ,behind .. 3-5 people sitting 1 meter apart in every alternate pews.

    Temperature screening should be a must!

    Requesting people feeling unwell to not attend mass.

    Can Priests show their cleanliness by sanitising their hands before the congregation?

    People also to sanitize hands, wear masks.

    Restrictions on under 10 year olds and over 60 years old to attend mass. Perhaps a regular live virtual mass can be a help to them!

    Congregation size can be just 50 in weekdays
    500 on weekends.
    This can be adjusted based on the size of pews and also the churches.

    No spitting in any place of the church.

    Another big custom , I feel would induce transmission of virus is kissing statues or images. Some put their hands and the kiss the hand with which they touched. Both these practices have to be banned in interest of everyone.
    Piety can be in hearts!!

    Penalize the key offences with fines of Rs 50/- and above with spitting , lack of social distancing and kissing statues and images attracting huge amounts!

    Fines of huge amounts will be perfect deterant in this time when everyone wants to save money!!

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