Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 16 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giuseppe Antonio Tovini
home iconNews
line break icon

Italian churches prepare to have funerals again, but public Masses are still banned



Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/01/20

For eight weeks, the bereaved were prohibited from gathering together to mourn.

As the number of daily deaths and cases of coronavirus continues to fall in Italy, the Catholic Church is preparing to resume the practice of public funerals.

Starting on May 4, after an eight-week ban, Italian families will be able to gather for funeral Masses and burial ceremonies, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

In the Lombardy region of Italy, where 13,679 have died of the coronavirus, mourners have had to forgo funerals for their loved ones. Priests in Milan are expecting to receive a wave of requests from that region for funeral services.

Fr. Mario Antonelli, of the Archdiocese of Milan, told CNA, “I am moved, thinking of so many dear people who have wanted [a funeral] and still desire one.”

Social distancing measures will be required at the funerals, and no more than 15 people will be able to attend.

Public Masses will still be prohibited under Italy’s May 4 coronavirus restrictions. Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on April 26 that stores, museums and libraries would reopen on May 18, and restaurants, bars and hair salons on June 1. There is no timetable for the resumption of Catholic Masses.

The Italian bishops have been critical of the continued ban on Catholic Masses.

In an April 23 letter, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, wrote that “the time has come to resume the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, and church funerals, baptisms and all the other sacraments, naturally following those measures necessary to guarantee security in the presence of more people in public places,” reported the CNA.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.