KOCHI: The Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has decided to conduct the Holy Mass with the participation of the public from July 1. Archbishop Antony Kariyil, metropolitan vicar of the archdiocese, in a circular issued on Saturday said the rituals will be conducted following the government guidelines and only 25 people, including the choir members, altar boys and the priest, can attend the service at a time.
The faithful have to wear facemasks and maintain social distancing inside the church. Those attending the prayer service should register their names and phone numbers with the vicar of the respective church.
The sick, pregnant women and those aged below 10 and above 65 are not permitted to attend the service. Those living in hotspots and containment zones must comply with the government rules on their movement, the circular said.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocesan Movement of Transparency (AMT), a laity organisation, has urged the church authorities to delay the reopening in the wake of the spike in COVID cases. It said status quo should be maintained till the pandemic scare subsides. “Several positive cases have been reported from various areas that come under the archdiocese. Hence, the Church’s decision is very dangerous,” AMT said in a release.
“The status quo in the churches should be maintained and we have shared our concerns and apprehensions with the archbishop,” said Riju Kanjookaran, AMT general secretary.