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Coronavirus cases: Bengaluru Archbishop suspend prayer services in churches, chapels

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Bengaluru, Apr 09: With rising coronavirus cases, the Archbishop of Bengaluru Rev Peter Machado ordered the suspension of public liturgical services in churches, chapels and institutions of Bengaluru urban and rural districts from April 7 to 20.

Church

"In view of the new stringent directives of the government, issued on April 6 wherein the police department has clamped down on all the public religious services, it is right and fitting that we should cooperate with the government, as it is for our own good, safety and benefit, and to curb the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic," Rev Machado said in his message to all the churches and church associated institutions.

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While prohibiting all the public religious services in churches, chapels and Institutions of Bengaluru Archdiocese from April 7 to 20, Rev Machado said the churches and chapels maybe kept open for private visits and adoration. The priests may celebrate the religious services in private with a few or no participation of the public, he explained.

Rev Machado underlined maximum precautions and standard operating procedures have to be strictly followed. For sacramental celebrations, which are pre-arranged in this period like baptism, first Holy Communion, confirmation, marriages et al, not more than 50 shall be allowed; if possible, with closed door celebrations and SOPs in place.

For funerals also not more than 50 should be allowed, the Archbishop said adding, there will be no funeral mass in the churches, but it may be celebrated in cemeteries with SOPs in place. The archdiocese also decided to perform its services online.

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The daily and Sunday Holy Masses, Eucharistic Adoration and other paraliturgical celebrations will be live- streamed on the Archdiocesan YouTube, Facebook and other links. Likewise, the parishes may also live-stream their liturgical services to their parish community by giving sufficient information and publicity for it, the order read.

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    The directives came as the Bengaluru police Commissioner Kamal Pant in his prohibitory orders banned congregation of people at the religious places to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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