Montevideo (Agenzia Fides) - The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, liturgical celebrations will be resumed in Uruguay as of Friday 19 June, with the participation of the faithful, which will take place according to the Protocol agreed by the Episcopal Conference with the Presidency of the Republic. According to the information sent to Fides, the protocol presents the valid criteria for the 9 dioceses of the Country, in order to guarantee the health security of the faithful and priests. The suspension of the Sunday mass obligation remains in force, in particular for the faithful over the age of 65 or with health problems that recommend special precautions.
There are three phases for the return to the full participation of the faithful in the celebrations. This first phase, with an important limitation on the number of faithful who can participate in each celebration, will continue until further notice.
"Once again we turn to you in this moment of pandemic, with all its family, economic, social and ecclesial consequences. We thank the Lord and our people for the enormous solidarity that has arisen in this period". This is what the Bishops of Uruguay write, informing of the Protocol signed with the Ministry of Public Health on 11 June and made known on 12th.
"This period that we lived because of the pandemic without the participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic celebrations and with the suspension of all the other activities involving the participation of the faithful was a suffering and a challenge - underline the Prelates -. In a special way it was very difficult to live Easter and, in particular Easter, with these restrictions.
The massive response of the faithful to participate in the celebrations through the various media was very satisfying and comforting - they note -. We believe that, with all the precaution of the case and adopting the necessary measures to avoid contagions as much as possible, we should gradually resume the ecclesial and liturgical life of the Church with the physical participation of the faithful".
Some general criteria are therefore presented to be followed for the celebration in parishes or public churches (including use of the face mask, social distancing ...). In this phase: "phase 1", the limit number of participants will be indicated at the door of each church. The faithful must maintain the suggested distance between them (two meters). In some churches a reception service will be necessary, to count the number of faithful who enter and provide any indications. Some hygienic rules are therefore to be observed during the celebrations and the provisions regarding the administration of Holy Communion. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/6/2020)