Covid-19: Church suspends baptisms, confirmations and weddings

"We are aware of the very serious pandemic situation we are experiencing at this moment", says the Portuguese Episcopal Conference

The Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP) decided that the celebrations of baptisms, confirmations and weddings are suspended or postponed due to the «very serious situation of pandemic» that Portugal is experiencing.

“We are aware of the very serious situation of pandemic that we are currently experiencing, demanding from all of us increased responsibility and solidarity in its fight, contributing to overcome the crisis with all our efforts”, refers the CEP in a press release.

Taking into account the government guidelines decreed for the confinement, which begins this Friday, January 15, the CEP stresses that liturgical celebrations are maintained, including the Eucharist and funerals (funeral and funeral ceremonies), according to the guidelines of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference of 8 May, issued in coordination with the General Directorate of Health. All other celebrations must be suspended or postponed.

"Other celebrations, such as Baptisms, Confirmations and Marriages, should be suspended or postponed for a more opportune time, when the health situation permits", says the CEP, also adding that catechesis will continue in person where it is possible to observe the health requirements. Otherwise, it can be digitally or canceled.

The Portuguese Episcopal Conference also recommends that other pastoral activities be carried out digitally or postponed.

“Our celebration of faith opens us to the God of mercy and expresses our commitment to solidarity with the efforts of all those who seek to minimize suffering, generating a new hope that, in addition to vaccines, gives meaning and care for life in all areas. its dimensions,” adds the CEP.

Prime Minister António Costa announced on Wednesday that Portugal will "return to the duty of home collection", as in March and April, warning that this is simultaneously the "most dangerous moment, but also a moment of greatest hope" .