Churches are introducing infection control measures

Bishop Bernt EidsvigTrondheim.Bishop Bernt Eidsvig.Photo: Ole Martin Wold / NTB scanpix

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The shaking of hands is forbidden and communion will not be placed on the lips of believers in the Catholic Church in Norway.

Previous measures that were recommended are now mandatory, the Catholic Church told NTB.

It means no greeting by shaking of hands and no use of holy water. Communion will be received in the hands of the congregation rather than on the lips.

All ecclesiastical activity that gathers many people should be kept to a minimum.

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig urged priests and believers to listen to the advice of the health authorities and adhere to the measures for mass gatherings.

“Know that the Church is at your disposal at all times. The rapid spread of the coronavirus is worrying. We know the pain of those affected and pray for them,“ said Eidsvig.

Every year, 1.2 million believers celebrate Mass in the Catholic Churches in Norway.

In addition, Bishop Eidsvig emphasized that mass obligations are exempt for people who feel sick, have symptoms of illness or are ill.

Oslo Cathedral has also made changes because of the coronavirus outbreak. On its website, it states that all dining in the Cathedral is cancelled on Tuesday evenings, including church coffee. There will also be no communion in future services. The church will also avoid the use of hymn books and all hymns should be printed in today’s programme.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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