Finally our churches have reopened but with a limited number of slots available. You can now only book in to go to mass or any of the other sacraments (confession also). Currently due to Covid-19 the number of people allowed to attend mass is limited to 50 slots. This means that you are NOT required to fulfill your obligation of going to Sunday Mass during these times.
Chair space is limited but you can book your seat online or by contacting your local church. In other news you can also stream mass on Sunday mornings and this is held in a different church each week.
Many Churches are having to order in more comfortable chairs for their parishioners. Chair sales have seen a huge spike recently as many people are still forced to work from home which means they needed to invest in their home office space. Chairs such as comfortable gaming chairs from companies like Housetech are proving super popular during the pandemic.
Other related forms of home office equipment have also proven quite popular. Many people have had to change their spare room into a working office since the pandemic has begun.
With the second wave looking imminent in a lot of European countries some countries have had to reimpose a form of lock down. Here in Ireland our second wave has not come yet but as the economy reopens people are beginning to get more nervous again.
In the last few days several building sites and creches have had to close due to outbreaks of Covid-19. This means that these people will need to isolate for 14 days or until they get a negative Covid-19 test.
Ireland has been on a lockdown (without the use of the word lockdown) for two weeks now and now the focus for many people is on their mental health and well being. With all public gatherings now ceased including Holy Mass and even funerals people are very much restricted to their homes.
The restriction on the public includes only a form of exercise which can be carried out up to 2 kilometers from ones home. This does not include any other essential journeys such as going to shop, doctor or dentist for which you can drive more than 2 kilometers.
Staying sane at home:
So how can people keep their mind healthy as well as their body fit in these times. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise several days a week to keep your body healthy and this also release endorphins which will mentally make you feel better.
If you do not have any home gym equipment do not worry as you don’t have to break the bank in order to get a good taxing workout at home. You can get simple pieces of home gym equipment such as exercise bands or a skipping rope for under €20.00.
Other recommendations include reading a book or playing a board game. It is very important to not over consume news content which can lead to increased anxiety and ultimately does you no good. It is OK to keep in touch with the news once or twice the day but do not dwell on it for most of the day. It is also important to avoid too much social media such as Instagram which can also lead to not feeling like you have accomplished much during the day which can lead to feeling depressed.
Keep a good routine and try to get up at the same time each day. When you get up get ready as if you would on a normal day and then begin your routine. Do not mope about in the house half of the day without getting yourself ready as this can also lead to depression. Here is hoping that this situation will not last long so we must do our best to stay in doors.
Father Peter Connor who is a priest in South Dublin shocked mass goers on Christmas morning when he presented with them with quite a surprise! After the sermon the Priest mounted his hoverboard and proceeded to exit the Church. Videos of the Father Connor have since gone viral.
It was certainly a Christmas to remember for local parishioners in Rathfarnham who applauded the priest as he left the Church on his new hoverboard. This video now has over 5,000 views and the priest has widely been acclaimed for his Christmas humour. Hoverboards have been hugely popular again this Christmas with stores like escooterireland.ie saying that sales are up another 10% on last Christmas.
Hoverboards have become something of a popular present at Christmas in the last few years so it is a fitting gift that Father Connor got for himself this Christmas. Father Connor said his stunt was aimed to entertain the kids at mass and to make them more interested in the Church and it certainly did not disappoint. Check out the video below of Father Connor on his hoverboard to see the roaring cheers he received as he leaves mass:
Each year a priest seems to steal the show with other years having a priest in Co. Wicklow who was showing toys at mass again to try entertain and influence the kids.
Other priest may look down on such behavior as mass should be taken seriously but all in all such actions are well received when done in the right spirit and no respect in lost on the importance of mass and most of all Christmas mass. Let’s hope that such spirits continue each Christmas and throughout the years to get some positive vibes for the Church again.