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Germany: Mass with devotees has been resumed. Anti-Covid measures and telephone reservations

Photo @smb/burghardt

The German Catholics start to publicly celebrate Mass again. Every diocese is taking its own decisions about the dates: some already restarted on April 20th (diocese of Dresden, part of the diocese of Görlitz) or on 25th April (Erfurt), some on 1st May (Cologne, Munster, Aachen, Essen), some on Sunday 3rd May (Trier) or yesterday, 4th May (Hapsburg, Berlin, Eichstätt, Fulda, Mainz, Munich, Rottenburg-Stuttgart; in the photos, a celebration in the diocese of Munich). Some dioceses will start celebrating on 9th or 10th May (Bamberg, Freiburg, maybe Hamburg); in some, there are no definite dates yet for resuming Mass (Hildesheim, Magdeburg, Osnabrück). Every diocese has laid out its guidelines for the parishes, in the light of the guidance provided by the secretariat of the German Bishops’ Conference, in consultation with the German Liturgical Office. Specific criteria apply to distances, safety devices, timing and methods. Plexiglas has appeared in some churches to separate the priest from the devotees, who line up to receive Communion. On others, those who hand out Communion wear gloves and a face mask. Quotas and online or telephone reservations are usually the rule. 122 people are admitted to attend Mass in the Cathedral of Cologne. “I feel emotionally quite torn”, wrote the bishop of Meinz, mgr. Peter Kohlgraf: “On one hand, I am looking forward to attending religious services, even if they cannot have the required solemnity yet. On the other hand, Eucharistic celebrations held in this restricted form do not actually meet the requirements”.

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