Living the Faith Without the Sacraments, by Michelle Arnold

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Some ideas for living out our Faith in an era of social distancing

By Michelle Arnold, Catholic Answers, 3/18/2020

Churches are closing, Masses are being canceled, bishops are dispensing the faithful from the Sunday obligation, priests are becoming increasingly unavailable for confession and anointing of the sick. This year, the Holy Week liturgies will be celebrated in Rome without the faithful in attendance. During this outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Catholics are beginning to grapple with a new reality: a loss of access to the sacraments while the world struggles to contain the disease to manageable levels through quarantines and social distancing.

Non-Catholic Christian communities and non-Christians are also facing a loss of public worship in their churches and houses of worship. For many of them however, they’re able to worship on their own from home. The Catholic eucharistic liturgy, though, is very much centered around gathering in a church and is dependent upon a priest confecting the Eucharist. Life without Mass and the sacraments for an indefinite period is frightening.

We may not be able to remember a time when Catholics were entirely cut off from access to the sacraments, but the Church remembers such times in its history. …

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