Saturday, June 13, 2020

Feeding of the 5,000?

The closure of  our local catholic church along with other places of worship for so many weeks since the compulsory lock-down in the UK commenced in March 2020, is sad. For many one of the ways in which solace could be drawn from the situation namely, holy mass or other religious service was shut to them.

Churches are from  today I believe, permitted to re-open for private prayer though I have not yet visited  my local  catholic church  The Sacred Heart Wimbledon.

There are many oddities about the easing of the restrictions of the pandemic. Mostly the media blames the government for these although given that there has not been a pandemic for over a hundred years such blame seems at best premature. 

My own view remains that a compulsory lock down is anti-democratic. Strong advice to individuals particularly  to the vulnerable and their supporters should have been provided but not the weakening of democracy caused  by the international compulsory  lock-downs.

Our local church has or did pre-lockdown, a daily 7:30 am mass attended by about 40 people most of whom also took holy communion from the celebrant or minsters of communion. The church seats over 500 people so the 40 or so in attendance were usually well spaced apart out of choice. Interestingly before the lock down, the principal diocesan concern appeared to be about fire precautions. Volunteer fire wardens  were encouraged to usher people outside through the nearest exit in the event of fire.  I suppose that will still be applicable though new rules seem likely to be that of entering the church by one door and exiting by another.

Reverting to this blog post's title; "Feeding of the 5,000?" 

A weekday mass for 40 people in a large church should not present any difficulty as regards keeping apart by  6'6' or even 3'3" . The main difficulty would be that of receiving Holy Communion. An answer could be surely for mass with small congregations, that  individuals bring their own bread and hold this out for consecration when the priest celebrating the mass takes up the host and wine for consecration. Each member of the congregation could then receive Holy Communion within  current secular rules. If unlevened bread is required then this could presumably be provided in much the same way as say sourdough bread in supermarkets?

Mentioning the above to a friend who knows catholic church clergy rather better than I, he said that they would not ever agree. 

However given that Jesus  used a boy's 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000 people in C1, is this possibility entirely out of the question  during the  C21 pandemic?

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