Tuesday 23 June 2020

Covid Secure Worship Rules - Latest Revision

Firstly, the good news. We delayed the opening of the Moot House for private prayer for so long that the rules are changing again. Therefore we are able to publish the following rules, confident that there will be no hydroxychloroquine in the Moot House by 4 July, once we've got the final shipment out the door.

We now seem to be in a slight bind, as we can't work out whether the Government's rules mean we can have outside worship experiences again in the Orchard, or whether it's only indoors. Also, due to the Great Communicator's inability to make anything clear, we can't figure out whether it's 30 people only at weddings, or 30 people max limit at all acts of worship. On the bright side, since we normally get two dozen if we're lucky, it's not really an issue.

Worship Rules
  1. Queue for church 2m apart. Anyone breaching personal space to be greeted with a tutt.
  2. No hymn books, prayer books or paper handouts. 
  3. Always move widdershins in the Moot House. Enter through the Summer Sunrise door and exit through the Summer Sunset one. 
  4. Welcomers to be unwelcoming.
  5. Velcro to be provided for the soles of children's shoes. This will keep the little darlings attached to the carpet, and prevent them running around.
  6. Box pews will be fitted before we re-open. Only members of the same household plus permitted "bubbles" to be in the same box pew.
  7. No incense. It just gives people licence to cough, and the last thing we need at the moment is a stampede.
  8. No shouting in the Moot House. Especially not for emphasis when preaching.
  9. No over-enthusiastic singing.
  10. The Kiss / Handshake / Sloppy Snog of Peace to be replaced with Arnold Rimmer Salutes.
  11. To limit exposure to both drivel and dribble, sermons to be no more than 6 minutes long.
  12. The Beaker Bodhran to be played outside the Moot House. This isn't for health reasons. Orik's just not very good. And 12 weeks off to practice haven't improved him.
  13. We're gonna have to lose the conch shells for a while. Say, 30 years.
  14. No "turn round and say hello to someone you don't know"
  15. Walk. Don't Run.
  16. No laying of hands for healing. Ironic, isn't it?
  17. No patting the service leader.
  18. No licking the furniture. This isn't Wetherspoons.
  19. Offering by contactless or PayPal online only. Minimum transaction £10.
  20. Keep the hand sanitiser away from the candles.
  21. We've taken away the holy water stoup. Blessed water will be provided via the fire sprinkler system.
  22. No sharing pebbles or tea lights except within households blah blah bubble blah.

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  1. My heart rose when I learnt that churches will be allowed to have services again but it sank when I saw that the limit for a congregation was 30 people. How on earth is the priest going to chose which 30 out of the several hundred in the parish? Before lockdown my territorial parish had 3 Sunday Masses each weekend all of which he celebrates himself. If only 30 people are allowed to attend each one there are going to be many disappointed parishioners.

  2. My parish reopened (in the US) two weeks ago, and we can hold perhaps 60 appropriately distanced at a service. But only about 40 came.

  3. Let this be the only time that the name of Rimmer is connected with places of worship! (There must be a Space Corps Directive about it?)

  4. Venerable ArchDruid, you really haven't got it, have you? The stated aim (yes, really) is to keep the people OUT of the churches. To do that, take the example of my own spiritual shepherds, and wait until the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour before suddenly imposing at least one extra condition which (if even possible to implement) will require several days to put in place. Then sit back and watch the clergy and PCCs tearing what remains of their hair, while the laity in general decides it's much more fun to surf the internet and find forms of worship vastly more agreeable to themselves. Don't like Father Borgia's traditionalist behaviours? A click and you can attend a Mass in a yurt where the altar is a tree stump, the Chalice is a pint mug, there is liturgical dancing in the aisles AND on the altar, and the Pax involves group hugs and groping.

    There are going to be an awful, awful lot of empty places once the thrill of escaping lockdown has worn off....


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