A Roman Catholic priest says the church will now have to encourage people to book online to be able to secure a place in church for masses as long as the covid19 pandemic continues to exist.
Fr David Khan told Newsday, after celebrating Corpus Christi mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church on Thursday, those who are unable to book online can call the office or visit to do so.
"This is so we can control the number of people coming at each service.”
Several Catholics went to the church on Harris Promenade in San Fernando receive communion.
At around 10.15 am, after the live-streamed mass, ministers opened the gates to a line of about 13 people who had been waiting for some time. Police had passed asking the people to “space out” a bit more for physical distancing.
There were ministers at each door of the building to facilitate a smooth and swift process.
The minister would say, “The body of Christ,” before giving the communion to the other person, who then pulled down their mask to partake, then make the sign of the cross as they walked away.
Khan told Newsday it was an “excellent day” as people were finally able to receive communion again.
“As the Archbishop counted, every day – 89 days (since churchgoers last received communion) – so to have it opening on Corpus Christi when we celebrate the feast of the body of Christ is really an awesome experience. And to know that people are coming out and they follow the mass (online) and they are longing and yearning to receive the Eucharist once again.”
Asked what Corpus Christi plans were like prior to the Prime Minister announcing the new date for the reopening of places of worship, he said they had been working with the June 12 date in mind all along.
“I think it was all the work of God because we started to sanitise and put up our sinks and signs, so it fell right into it. The timing couldn’t be better. It happened perfectly.”
He said this was the first day he was able to celebrate mass in the physical church building and that it was a wonderful feeling.
Eucharistic minister David Wayne said it was a fantastic day and an awesome experience.
“It’s just amazing to be able to come and have Christ with us in the body and flesh. As the Archbishop said, (it has been) 89 days (since churchgoers last received communion).”
During Newsday’s visit, approximately 50 people arrived to the church to receive communion.