As the government has decided to further limit the number of worshippers allowed to take part in church masses from 50 down to 5 during the coronavirus outbreak, online masses are becoming increasingly popular.
There is no holy water by the entrance, a maximum of five worshippers are allowed to attend mass and the sign of peace is made by a bow of the head instead of a handshake. The Eucharist is temporarily received by hand. These are some of the measures that the Catholic Church has taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Father Łukasz Miśko from Kraków says that it’s not an easy decision to close a church. The Holy Trinity church he serves, one of Kraków’s most popular and crowded churches, was also one of the first to close in the city.
The new reality has brought the faithful to social media. Daily masses transmitted by the Archbishop of Łódź, Grzegorz Ryś, attract thousands of online worshippers.
They pray for senior citizens together with their compatriots who live abroad and want to digitally participate in masses in their home country. Thanks to computers, the faithful also feel that they are able to stay in contact with the clergy and, together with other worshippers, mutually perform the adoration of the holy sacrament.
Many of the faithful have high hopes that it will be possible to lift the temporary measures by Easter but that will depend on the speed with which the coronavirus spreads in the coming two weeks.