Churches forced to refuse people at the entrance

Les églises forcées de refuser des gens à l’entrée

MONTREAL | For the first time in more than three months, the faithful were able to attend the Sunday mass, but unfortunately, several have had to be refused at the door, hygiene require.

“I don’t understand. In the bus, all the world is one above the other and here we refuse people, even if the church is empty”, is swept away Maria Lemos, who was on his 36 to connect with the basilica of Marie-Reine-du-Monde, in the city centre of Montreal.

Instead, she has been driving to the rectory, where she was able to watch the celebration via video conferencing: there’s nothing more of a routine for this catholic belief that listened to the masses from all over the world on the Internet during the confinement.

This is not gaiety of heart that the churches will filter the faithful at the entrance. The public health limit to 50 the number of people at the rallies, interiors, whatever it is.

But unlike bars and restaurants, places of worship have the capacity to accommodate much more of the world, while respecting social distancing.

The priest Alain Vaillancourt

“We should have been entitled to more. With alienation, one could easily go up to more than 200 places here. Today, we had to reject at least 50 people at each mass,” lamented the priest Alain Vaillancourt while he was managing the crowds on the square outside the basilica.

Rituals upset

Mary-Queen-of-the-World, which can accommodate up to 1,200 people in normal times, had to be a little redesigned. In addition to the security guards at the entrance and arrows on the ground, a new local is used to confess it, the old one is too small to ensure a two metre gap between the priest and the fisherman.

And this is not the only tradition that is turned upside down. Everywhere in Quebec, the parish priest will now mask the time of the communion. During the eucharist, it is also strongly advised the believers to present their hands rather than to the language to take the host.

Always during this ritual, the priest does drink more in the same cup of wine as his co-celebrants. The Diocese of Montreal has also said that the songs were avoided as much as possible during the sermons, knowing that the COVID-19 is transmitted through the droplets

Slow déconfinement

Most of the parishes are still expected all of these adjustments. Sunday, only a very small part of the churches were open in Montreal.

“It requires a lot of logistics and you should know that some parishes have few volunteers, and that often, they are of a certain age. There are some who say that it’s going to be difficult to open in these conditions. Others aim instead of July,” said the abbot Jean-Chrysostome Zoloshi, secretary in the office of the archbishop of the Diocese.

The man of the Church was not in a position to say Sunday when the parish activities, such as training for first communion would resume.

Baptisms, marriages and celebrations funeral may take place as early as now, while conforming to sanitary measures.


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