But priests and the community in parishes that fall under the San Thome Vicariate ( zone) of Madras-Mylapore diocese for Catholics have not decided yet on the celebration of Holy Mass, which is said daily in all churches.
This is because among the strict regulations applicable to churches, besides sanistisation and social distancing a priest at Mass cannot offer Communion to people ( which is considered to be symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus). This has been curtailed to avoid close contact between people in the church.
“The Communion is at the core of Holy Mass and is sacred too and when the regulation says this cannot be carried out then there is no relevance of saying a Mass without it,” said a assistant parish priest at a church in R. A. Puram on Friday.
This means that besides daily Mass, Sunday Mass will also not be celebrated in local churches. However, the issues are being discussed at the highest level in the diocese and priests hope that solutions will come by soon.
However, all churches are now kept open in the morning and in the evening. This allows for people to come by and pray by themselves. They are asked not to touch books, statues and to wear masks.
Priests, as per their religious rules must say Holy Mass daily and many of them say Mass in the morning in the sacristy ( the room behind the altar section of a church).
The community has been taking part in Holy Mass said at some city churches and webcast by websites or broadcast on some religious TV channels. “We have been attending Mass since April online and will have to continue to do so now, ” said a church-goer of the parish of San Thome Cathedral.