In Bavaria, Germany Church services were closed to the public for 7 weeks due to the corona pandemic. On May 4, 2020 the faithful were granted permission to attend services again under certain conditions. The priest of Neustadt an der Waldnaab, Thomas Jeschner, celebrated the first service in Bavaria at 12:05 am with 40 faithful - under the conditions the maximum.
"Welcome back," Fr. Jeschner greeted the faithful who had gathered in the parish church of St. Laurentius in Eschenbach to celebrate the holy mass with him. Fr. Jeschner explained "that the Lord will meet us again in the Eucharist".
The church was filled to the last seat with 40 worshipers. This number is due to the distance regulations, in a church which could normally accommodate 300 people. The community of believers showed its love for Jesus Christ. Fr. Jeschner said "Thank you for this sign of faith!"
The hygiene rules were carefully observed.
In order for Mass to take place, the conditions imposed by the state and the requirements of the diocese of Regensburg had to be met precisely: when entering the church, the faithful were greeted warmly by stewards. They explained the hygiene rules to them: All worshipers must wear a mask and keep a minimum distance of two meters from each other - unless they live together. Everyone had to disinfect their hands and then sit in one of the designated places. Fr. Jeschner explained the procedure for the reception of Holy Communion before the start of the mass: The believers must stay in their seat. If you want to receive communion, you should get up and go to the edge of the pew for reception. The distribution took place with communion forceps.
The great joy of the faithful to finally be able to actively celebrate another Mass was palpable: It was nice to finally be able to go to church again. Fr. Jeschner's exclaimed : "It was wonderful."Among the worshipers was the new mayor of Eschenbach, Marcus Gradl, who expressed his solidarity. The community of faith also showed itself in a special sign: Three members of the Catholic Faith Community of the American military base in Grafenwoehr were there and it was streamed on Facebook. This allowed people all over the world to take part in the first public service in Bavaria.
Edited from Kath.net