Worship places in Luxembourg will reopen to faithful from Friday, May 29, under several restrictions including on Holy Communion.
In his message, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium stressed that, following the government decisions, it was possible to open churches that had remained closed for more than two months, but with several restrictions due to the risk of transmitting the disease.
In particular, all the hygiene measures must be observed, that is, cleaning and disinfection of the church and the objects.
The faithful inside the church should keep a two-meter distance. There is no limit to the number of people inside the church.
The use of a face mask that covers the mouth and nose is mandatory for everyone except the celebrant inside the church.
The faithful are banned form receive the Holy Communion with a spoon.
Metropolitan Athinagoras emphasized that in this way “our joy for the opening of the churches is mitigated because we must also comply with the measure that prohibits the use of the spoon for the offering of Holy Communion.”
In his message, he pointed out that “our Ecumenical Patriarch calls on us to obey our countries’ laws and to be patient until we return to a normal life.
We are living in extraordinary times and we must obey the regulations required by the rule of law. It is not a question of intervention in the internal affairs of religion, but the government is interested in is the protection of public health.
I am obliged to take this measure, that is, the Holy Communion will not be offered to the faithful during the Divine Liturgy apart from the celebrant priest.
I take this temporary measure suffering the pain while empathizing with the faithful members of our Church. I am convinced that with God’s help we will return to normalcy as soon as possible.
I hope and pray that I will be able to change this temporary directive as soon as possible so that the faithful can participate in the Holy Communion.”