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Rome is Waking Up. And loves its sanitzer

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

No one knew what to expect when public Masses began in Rome.

A sign on the door of our neighborhood church announced that masks were required and only 15 people would be admitted at a time. We wondered, "was there going to be a bouncer at the door giving out numbers like in a deli? Or, we joked, maybe we could go to Mass in shifts and half of the people go for half of the Mass?"

Instead, in typical Italian fashion, no one counted. At the first weekday Mass we attended, there were 8 people. But at the second there were 20 participants, plus 3 priests.

Each pew has a sign taped to it designating the spot where people should sit, in order to ensure that everyone keeps the right distance.

In the middle of the center aisle sits a table decorated with a white, lace tablecloth. Its centerpiece is a single pump bottle of hand sanitizer.

(This photo I took was used by the Catholic Herald as their 'world-in-a-nutshell' photo)

The sacristen informed us that all were meant to use sanitzer unpon entering, before communion and again after communtion.

The priests say they're not to allowed give communion on the tongue, saying it's due to a government decree.

At communion time people stood up to get in line, but were surprised when instead the celebrant, with a plastic glove on this right hand, walked to each pew to place communion directly in the hand of each masked participant. We remained on our knees.

Okay, so now we know that weekday Masses will be like. But how will they handle Sunday Mass with lots more people?

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