Parish priests, priests, nuns, religious and all the faithful will have to respect strict health protocols during the Christmas period. And even the liturgical celebrations will be influenced by the measures in question. To be able to celebrate a Mass in the presence of the people of God, each diocesan Catholic community must be located in a “green zone” (the color reserved for the areas less affected by Covid) and have received permission from the appropriate local governmental Task Force.
This is what the Secretary of the Commission for Social Communications of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI), Father Steven A. Lalu, reported to Agenzia Fides, talking about how Catholics in Indonesia will be able to celebrate Christmas 2020, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Each of the 38 Indonesian dioceses, therefore, will receive and give the faithful different dispositions, in full compliance with the health protocols adopted by the authorities, according to the local situations in the vast archipelago, reported Fr. Lalu.
The Indonesian Catholic Bishops Conference, the priest noted, is strong and united on the principle of supporting every effort to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, according to the approach of based on the contribution to the common good of the nation. “Churches should never be a place of transmission of the coronavirus. Therefore, health protocols must be strictly respected and the recommendations of the task force prepared to contain Covid at various levels must be respected”, he stressed.
“Catholics are called to welcome Christmas during the Covid-19 pandemic with a spirit of simplicity and joy. As children of God, we constitute the real family of God by loving others as ourselves”, he wrote in a message to parishes, the Secretary-General of the Archdiocese of Jakarta, Father V. Adi Prasojo. “At Christmas everyone has the opportunity to accept the pandemic situation by seeing, feeling, and experiencing God’s love and glory”. The Archdiocese advises Catholics not to move or to go on vacation to crowded places during the Christmas holidays, urging them to maintain a spirit of co-responsibility.
Likewise, the Indonesian Communion of Churches, an entity that unites Protestant Christian communities, has launched an appeal to Christians to give priority to “virtual worship” during the Christmas period. “We have sent an appeal to all the churches so that the faithful follow the Christmas celebrations thanks to technological means, given that the pandemic is still very dangerous”, said President Gomar Gultom, underlining that, for 2020, the baptized will be able to live the spirit of Christmas in a profound way, in faith and sharing, with their respective families, within their homes.