Posted: Sunday, November 1, 2020 12:55 PM
Cemeteries in Spain will have capacity checks on All Saints Day to avoid crowds in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic and in some of them the time spent inside the cemetery will be limited. From certain bishoprics, they call for living this moment of remembrance to deceased parents with the “caution” that the health restrictions mark.
In addition, the Funespaña group has asked families who plan to visit their deceased during the next vacation on November 1 and 2 to do so on the previous days to avoid the crowds. Also remember that the use of a mask is mandatory, keep a safety distance of 2 meters between people and apply disinfectant hand gels.
In Madrid, the cemeteries dependent on the archdiocese (San Lorenzo, San Sebastián Mártir, San Isidro and San Justo) have adapted their schedules to facilitate the visit of the faithful. Likewise, on Sunday November 1, Cardinal Archbishop Carlos Osoro will preside at noon in the chapel of the Almudena cemetery a funeral mass for all the deceased, which will be broadcast live on Telemadrid.
In Alcalá de Henares, the provisions given by the bishopric provide for Masses to be celebrated on the 1st for the deceased in municipal and ecclesiastical cemeteries, always respecting sanitary measures; and in Getafe, the bishop’s recommendations are: mask, social distance and reduced capacity.
All Saints’ Day by cities
During this time, in Ávila, there will be no community celebrations in cemeteries, All Saints’ Day or the Day of the Faithful, although, as far as possible, the bishopric encourages the celebration of the Eucharist for the deceased. November 2 in the parish temple. . He also remembers that “more than ever, it is compulsory to wear a mask and to keep your distance”.
From the diocese of Segovia, they explain that most of the cemeteries are owned by municipalities and that they have no management authority, but “priests are available to pray there in accordance with the capacity regulations established by the municipalities “.
For its part, the City Council of Salamanca encourages the inhabitants of the city to take advantage of the previous days for visits and in addition the council will proceed to the reservation of parking spaces, limiting the capacity and with controls of the local police to entrance to cemeteries. . The maximum time will be one hour and three people for each funeral unit.
In Valladolid, on the 1st, as tradition dictates, Cardinal Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez will go to the Carmen cemetery to pray for the deceased and for the victims of the pandemic.
Gijón, Oviedo, Vitoria, Jaca …
They will also pray for the memory of the deceased in the parishes of Soria where they will “faithfully” follow the indications of the Junta de Castilla y León, which has set up access controls in cemeteries, a reduction of capacity by half and delays.
On the other hand, in Gijón, the town hall maintains the visiting hours of cemeteries during the days of the deceased but will limit the influx of visitors, and although it does not establish a maximum length of stay in cemeteries, it recommends keep it as short as possible. .
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Oviedo, Jorge Juan Fernández Sangrador, sent the priests a letter in which he established that the celebration of religious acts on the solemnity of All Saints’ Day will take place in churches and not in cemeteries.
In the case of Vitoria, neither of its two cemeteries, neither El Salvador nor that of Santa Isabel, are of ecclesial property and their owner is the municipal council of Vitoria, therefore the capacity control and measures correspond to the municipal government.
“On this occasion, the first that the diocese will experience on this feast under this pandemic situation, from the bishopric we appeal to live the memory of deceased parents with the caution that the health authorities mark and go to cemeteries in them. respecting at all times, “the Vicar General of the diocese, Carlos García Llata, told Europa Press, insisting on the” spacing “of the visits.
The diocese of Jaca, in Aragon, reminds the faithful that in these two festivals it is necessary to be “demanding” and “to comply with the published measures with rigorous caution”. For this they have established more time for Masses in which the capacity of 25% cannot be exceeded and it is recommended that the celebrations take place abroad.
“The intention is that they come without risk”
Meanwhile, in Valence, the general cemetery offers since last Sunday, October 25 and until November 8, masses every day, so that the faithful attend in a staggered manner. The cemetery chapel will host mass at 11 a.m., according to chaplain Benjamín Zorrilla. On November 1, the Eucharist at 1 p.m. will be presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia, Antonio Cañizares, for priests who died last year.
In Malaga and more precisely in Manilva, the parish cemetery is the most frequented, according to the diocese to Europa Press. Its parish priest, José Antonio Melgar, explains that he “coordinated the entire protocol with the mayor”. “It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a capacity of 40 people, controlled by civil protection personnel and taking great care in cleaning and disinfection”, he indicates.
The novelty is that this year in the cemeteries there will be no responsibility for those who rest there, to avoid the crowds. “Our intention is that they can come and visit their deceased without any risk”, specifies the priest. For his part, Juan Francisco Cardaldas, pastor in Torre del Mar, explains that “the reception capacity was limited by the patios” and “the stay cannot exceed half an hour”.
In Granada, Mass on November 2 will be presided over by Bishop Javier Martínez and offered to victims of the pandemic. “We feel very closely the suffering and pain of those who suffer from the virus, and of those who suffer the loss of their loved ones, especially in these circumstances. We pray for them all and we entrust to God the consolation for them all and we pray for the end of the pandemic ”, they underline from the archdiocese.
The National Association of Funeral Services (PANASEF), as well as all Spanish companies in the sector, paid tribute to the victims of the pandemic and all those who died this year, through the symbolic language of flowers. In addition, they wanted to give “deserved recognition” to funeral staff, “the sometimes forgotten last link in the health chain during this pandemic”.