As per official orders, New Year Eve prayers in churches must be completed by 7 pm on 31st December, instead of midnight.
This precautionary measure to prevent overcrowding in the churches during Christmas was a much-needed one, given the current scenario wherein a new strain of coronavirus has been found in the UK.
Christmas to be celebrated with caution this year!
Besides the 50 devotees, only 10 choristers (choir singers) shall be allowed on the premises. Norms of social distancing have to be strictly followed at all times, which is why no Christmas processions shall be permitted this year. The New Year Eve prayers in churches must be completed by 7 pm on 31st December, instead of the usual timings. As per the official notice, children below 10 and people above 60 have been advised to avoid attending the ceremonies.
Christmas trees & crib to be sanitised; celebrations to be held online
Sanitisation of the church premises before and after the midnight masses has been made compulsory along with sanitisation of the Christmas trees and crib. Needless to say, face masks are mandatory too.
While not allowing bursting of firecrackers, the Maharashtra government has also urged people to arrange for online celebrations, wherever possible, so as to reach the maximum number of devotees.
With inputs from IANS