For the first time in decades, worshippers will not be able to attend Christmas midnight mass at Indore Churches this year. Adhering to the restrictions placed by the civil administration together with Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Churches have decided not to conduct the traditional Eucharistic at midnight.
“It is due to pandemic that there will be only one mass on the Christmas eve during the evening time and there will be multiple masses on the day of Christmas in the morning time”, the Bishop of Indore diocese, Dr. Chacko Thottumarickal informed.
The churches will not remain open on December 25 for visitors, it will be open from the next day onwards and provisions will be made to ensure that the physical distancing norms are followed, he added.
He issued instructions to the Church: “The Covid-19 protocols in force are to be observed. It would be wiser not to have midnight Mass.”
Thottumarickal added that maximum permissible number of devotees is 250 while ensuring social distancing. Further, wearing mask is a mandatory condition for admission to the Church.
“An evening Mass may be celebrated on December 24 and morning Masses on December 25,” he said. People visit church and baby Jesus crib in large numbers on Christmas. However, citing Covid-19 protocols, crowding will not be allowed in any of the churches.
“Since it is difficult to control crowds, it is wiser to keep the gates closed on December 25 after the morning Masses. The cribs and Churches can be kept opened from December 26 onwards. This procedure can be followed also for year ending and New year,” Thottumarickla said.
Urging the community to adhere to the suggestions, he added, “The threat from Corona is still around. We need to take the suggested measures to protect us. But only God can protect us effectively.”
Thottumarickla suggested faithful to seek the protection from God through praying Psalm 91, 23 and intercession of St. Michael and Mother Mary. “Divine Mercy and Marian Rosary are also powerful prayers. Please motivate people to take these measures,” he said.