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Circular on safety protocols for Good Friday and Easter

Archbishop Thomas D’Souza said veneration of the Cross in Roman Catholic churches is to be done by joining hands instead of 'kissing or touching the Cross'
A circular on safety protocols for Maundy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2) and Easter Vigil (April 3), signed by archbishop D’Souza, was sent to all churches and institutions in the archdiocese of Calcutta late on Wednesday.
A circular on safety protocols for Maundy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2) and Easter Vigil (April 3), signed by archbishop D’Souza, was sent to all churches and institutions in the archdiocese of Calcutta late on Wednesday.
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Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 19.03.21, 01:43 AM

The veneration of the Cross in Roman Catholic churches is to be done by joining hands, instead of “kissing or touching the Cross,” on Good Friday, archbishop Thomas D’Souza has said.

The archbishop has also called for steps to ensure that the places of worship are not crowded.

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A circular on safety protocols for Maundy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2) and Easter Vigil (April 3), signed by archbishop D’Souza, was sent to all churches and institutions in the archdiocese of Calcutta late on Wednesday.

“...during the veneration of the Cross, kissing or touching the Cross is to be replaced by veneration by joining hands,” the circular says, referring to the protocol for Good Friday.

It further says: “The Way of the Cross may be held in public, but avoiding crowding. All participants are requested to wear masks, and maintain distance from others during the liturgy/Way of the Cross.”

The Easter Vigil Liturgy, followed by Easter Mass around midnight (or earlier), may be held in the churches. “However, care is to be taken not to crowd the places of worship, and to follow the Covid-19 protocol at all times very strictly,” the circular states.

The circular mentions that on Maundy Thursday there will be no “washing of the feet ceremony this year too”.

Instead, it says, “those assigned for the washing of the feet, will be led to sanctuary, and as the hymn is sung, each will greet the Celebrant with joined hands, and then return to their places.”

The archdiocese of Calcutta has 65-odd churches.

“All churches will have to follow the circular compulsorily,” said Father Dominic Gomes, the vicar general of the archdiocese of Calcutta.

The Year of the Family will be inaugurated on the Solemnity of St Joseph (March 19) at St Joseph’s Church, Bongaon, by archbishop Thomas D’Souza at 8.30am and at St Joseph’s Chapel, Market Street, Calcutta, by Father Dominic Gomes at 6pm.



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