Coronavirus: Public services remain suspended

Accordingly, the churches and religious societies, in consultation with the Minister of Culture, Susanne Raab (ÖVP), have extended the coronavirus agreement, which has been in force since December 28, until the end of next week.

How things will proceed after that should be agreed in accordance with the then applicable new general regulations, it said. As already now, the churches remain open for personal prayers.  The  celebration of church services that are not open to the public is permitted in the smallest circle on Sundays and weekdays under certain conditions – more on this in No public services until January 17th.

Baptisms and weddings postponed

During the lockdown, baptisms and weddings must be postponed to a later date. Up to 50 people are allowed to celebrate the funeral. This also applies to church services – i.e. the celebration of mass or the celebration of the Word of God – immediately before or after the burial.

Furthermore, the “confession can only take place outside the confessional”, preferably in a sufficiently large and well-ventilated room, in which a minimum distance of two meters is maintained, according to the framework. It is recommended to wear a face mask and a plexiglass screen to separate people on a table.

For the sick and dying, the possibility of pastoral care is guaranteed in compliance with strict hygiene rules in accordance with the respective facility. In the case of communion with the sick and the Viaticum (food for the journey) outside of hospitals and nursing homes, the visit must be well discussed and prepared in advance with the relatives in order to be able to comply with the hygiene rules.

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