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COVID-19 Coronavirus: Netherlands, “Ecclesial life at 1.5 metres”. Mass without Communion until mid-June

As of 1 June, the faithful in the Netherlands will be able to go back to Mass. Only 30 people, however, will be allowed in the church, regardless of the size of the building, and Holy Communion will not be distributed during the first phase. Churches will only resume giving Holy Communion as of 14 June, the feast of Corpus Christi in the Netherlands. The Bishops hope to increase to 100 the number of people allowed to take part in the liturgies on 1 July. Booking, however, will be required to be able to attend Mass. This is what the Dutch Bishops wrote in the document “Ecclesial life at 1.5 metres”, a protocol providing information on the resumption of celebrations, divided into three parts: the first part, “aimed at all believers, provides guidelines for safe and dignified celebrations in churches”. In addition to social distancing of 1.5 metres, the Dutch Bishops insist on the need “not to touch” anything, not even one’s own body, when making the sign of the cross. The second part is about priests, who should also comply with a number of rules, including that of not touching the Host with their hands but with tweezers (which must be replaced if they touch the faithful’s hands). Finally, the third part provides guidelines on “church buildings and logistics”, and a “person in charge” for each building should ensure that these rules are complied with.

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