jump to navigation

The Churches Reopened June 18, 2021

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
trackback

Before Easter a number of Oireachtas members stood on the plinth demanding that the Churches be reopened for Easter. There was at least one court case about it too.
They reopened a few weeks ago. I have heard since from relatives that churches with covid capacity of 100 got far less last Sunday.
I wonder has many people’s service going habits been broken by the pandemic?

Having been told for years that you have to go to Mass each Sunday and then because of the pandemic it was OK to miss it. I presume too the booking systems for going to Mass put some people off. There must still be a lot of people cautious and nervous of crowds.

Still you have to wonder will it have a long term impact on Church attendance and subsequently Church funds and influence.

Comments»

1. WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

That’s a really interesting point. I can’t imagine it has helped. And what you’re hearing is very telling re attendances. TBH my local RC Church would be doing well to get much more than 120 of a typical Sunday morning on a pre-pandemic day.

Like

irishelectionliterature - June 18, 2021

I suppose like many things, once you get out of the habit of doing something…. it can be hard to go back.

Like

WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

That’s it, yeah. And of course there’s been the impact of the virus on the demographic from which so many church goers are drawn.

Liked by 1 person

2. oliverbohs - June 18, 2021

If there is no equivalent of a decree from Vatican expressing disapproval of those not showing up but maybe streaming church services instead then this will only continue, and that wd not be good PR. But this wd only be an acceleration of a continuing trend. It’s not that there won’t be a upswing in religious activity in Western countries in the future, it might happen but not to the benefit of the RCC

Liked by 1 person

Paul Culloty - June 18, 2021

It’s an interesting one, as the Irish Synod has largely determined such waivers until now, but when do they determine that they have served their purpose – when everyone aged over 60 has got their second dose of AZ?

Liked by 1 person

3. rockroots - June 18, 2021

I’m only familiar with rural Church of Ireland churches, but they may serve as a pointer for the future of RC churches. Attendance was already typically in single digits and Covid is forcing some incredibly difficult choices to be made about closing churches and merging parishes. To rub salt in the wound, it pits neighbouring parishes against each other in the fight for survival. The religious aspect doesn’t bother me personally, but it’s sad to see a distinct community fade into the ether and depressing to see centuries-old buildings and monuments abandoned to dereliction. Seems like RC churches could be headed the same way about 20 years or so.

Liked by 1 person

Paul Culloty - June 18, 2021

You’re already seeing that to some extent in rural parishes, where the lack of vocations means the declining cohort of existing priests will serve a cluster of churches every weekend, say saying the main Mass in one church on a Saturday, and the others on Sundays.

Like

WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

Agree rock roots, it is a loss in terms of communities fading and I think for the RC it’s going to be a lot sooner than twenty years – it’s like Paul says, that’s been going on a while now in rural parishes and some urban RC parishes too.

Like

rockroots - June 18, 2021

Yes – I think there’s only one full-time C of I rector in my home county. ‘Legit’ services in each church are only every fourth week, with members of the congregation going through the motions on other weeks. Necessity being the mother of invention, resources can be stretched well beyond their natural limits.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2021

This is genuinely an existential crisis for the religions – that said I’ve heard of RC churches in middle class areas of Dublin doing better – curious to know if that was true

Like

Aonrud ⚘ - June 19, 2021

I think that’s been the case for Presbyterian and Methodist churches for some time as well. From my limited understanding, things like services without a minister are more normalised in those churches, with lay roles etc., and ministers covering a few churches. I wonder can Catholicism facilitate something similar? Or is it lacking the lay roles and less hierarchical approach that would allow that kind of adaptation?

Like

WorldbyStorm - June 19, 2021

I think that the issue of lay roles is key, but something that has been addressed in a circuitous route and far too slowly. So, there’s plenty of lay people, mostly women who – for example hand out communion, but their demographic is hardly younger than the priests and I’m not sure they can take over the role of the priests in the ceremonial aspects in the way that would be necessary. So whether there’s flexibility there I don’t know. I’d suspect not. It’s not even hierarchical in the sense of many levels because there’s just two in a way, but rather the distinction between priest and lay person is just too great even if the lay people are up on alters and in many aspects of the ceremonies.

Like

WorldbyStorm - June 19, 2021
4. Aonrud ⚘ - June 19, 2021

Maybe my advertising campaign is working after all…

Liked by 4 people

Aonrud ⚘ - June 19, 2021

Apologies for taking the tone down a bit, but, accepting the distinction between the institution and the cultural and community aspects, and the potential loss associated with the latter, I didn’t come out of Catholic rural education with a lot of sympathy for the declining church.

Liked by 4 people

oliverbohs - June 19, 2021

The one advantage for me of Sunday mass was that u cd get the paper afterwards. These days I’d prefer just going to mass really. Or neither. That thing whereby your standing as a good Catholic is absolutely linked to societal conformity is something I don’t miss. This is where, if the local priest is a sound lad, and can take the congregation with him, is something. You hear about armies fighting for each other not the cause. But the way the RCC exacerbated problems, making their set up a central part of the problem, means there’s plenty of rot still to happen

Liked by 2 people

Tomboktu - June 19, 2021

Which reminds me of a story my late aunt in London told me two or so decades ago.

She was a governor for the local Catholic primary school. An application for admission was queried by the PP on the basis that he had not seen the parents at weekly Mass, to the dislike of the other governors who believed it better to engage with the semi-detached than insist on utter loyalty. But, the PP is the PP.

So, the parents were asked and they explained that they did attend Mass every Sunday, but in a different parish because they brought the immobile grandmother of one of the parents to Mass in her local parish.

The battle, apparently, was whether the query to the PP in the other parish to confirm this would be made by a member of the school staff or the PP.

Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: