More Holy Masses at Christmas

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There will be an increased number of Holy Masses during the Christmas holidays so that the number of people celebrating can be spread out more evenly. The member churches of the Ecumenical Council of Churches have agreed on this.

Furthermore, congregations are to be encouraged to broadcast services via video. If possible, a registration system for those attending services is also to be offered, or services are to be staggered.

The previous protective measures, which the Ministry of Culture and the churches had already agreed on a week ago, will of course remain binding, it said. These include, for example, maintaining the minimum distance of 1.5 meters or wearing a mouth-nose protection.

Community and choir singing suspended
In addition, disinfectants are to be sufficiently available. Congregational and choral singing will also remain suspended at Christmas. “In addition to these general measures, individual churches can develop additional rules and recommendations in their own areas to make them more concrete,” said the chairman of the ÖRKÖ, Rudolf Prokschi.

“The goal of all efforts must be that all who want to join in a Christmas service also find a way to do so,” the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Franz Lackner, told Kathpress on Friday.

Additional, shorter nativity devotions
For example, additional Nativity services should take place and their duration should be shortened so that the number of people celebrating can be well distributed. Where it is necessary because of the expected number of people celebrating, there can also be an additional Christmas mass, Lackner said.

Minister of Culture Susanne Raab (ÖVP) welcomed the churches’ expanded regulations for public worship services during the Christmas holidays and appealed to all worshipers to implement the measures together to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

  • hp with reports from orf.at. picture: pixabay.com
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