Masses have been cancelled

The Dutch bishops hereby announce that the public liturgical celebrations for Palm Sunday, the other days of the Holy Week (Easter Triduum) and Easter have been cancelled.

This decision has been taken with a very sad heart. All measures that the bishops in the Netherlands have taken earlier relating to the coronavirus, namely on 28 February and 13 March, are now extended up to and including Monday, 13 April (Second Easter Day).

Pope Francis has already communicated similar measures. The measures communicated by the Dutch government are in force up to and including 6 April. However, the bishops see the necessity at this point in time to also take a decision for the period that includes Easter due to the liturgical preparations that would normally be required, but that cannot now take place given the current circumstances. Moreover, the health and wellbeing of all parishioners must be considered, including those that are most vulnerable.

Chrism Mass in the dioceses shall be held but only with the attendance of a small group of participants that are required for the services and without choirs. All dioceses shall communicate with their respective parishes and pastoral teams regarding this and all other services planned for the Holy Week and Easter.

Mass, baptism en funerals
Sunday Holy Mass shall be held in seclusion by priests without choir, possibly with a cantor.

The following additions to the earlier communicated strict measures are in force for Mass that is celebrated during the working week, namely: The Parish priest determines, in accordance with government measures and local circumstances, whether Mass shall be celebrated or not. In this, he should take into consideration the size of the church or chapel and must see to it that applicable government measures are followed. All parishioners celebrating Mass should maintain 1,5 meter distance among themselves, including when coming forward to receive Holy Communion or personal blessing, and not to attend Mass if they have any symptoms of a cold, flu.

The same applies to baptisms and funerals that should be sober in nature and small in scale, and in line with the applicable measures in place for that diocese. Regarding funerals, these should also be held in line with applicable guidelines for the funeral industry, e.g. maximum number of people that can attend.

United in prayer
Where possible, churches will remain open and accessible for prayer and to light a candle. Parishioners are asked to keep the advised distance to one another and to stay away if they have a cold or flu and to pray at home.

Holy Mass is broadcast live every Sunday morning on Dutch television (channel NPO2) by the KRO-NCRV from 10.00hrs. Radio Maria also broadcasts Mass every work day, morning and evening, at 09.00hrs. and 19.00hrs., and on Saturdays at 09.30hrs. and Sundays at 10.00hrs. The bishops call emphatically to pray in this time of the coronavirus.

• Gebed van de bisschoppen

• Noveengebed tot Onze Lieve Vrouw ter Nood

• Stations of the Cross

• Rosary

• Radio Maria

Light a candle via the website Kerk in Nood

• Follow the website of your diocese and parish for ways to pray and live streaming of services