In Boulogne-Billancourt, a real marathon is organized on Sunday to allow all the faithful of the church to attend the famous Pentecost mass. As in other parishes, maintaining respect for health rules is a major challenge since places in the church are limited ... whereas the feast of Pentecost is one of the most important for the Christian community, as Easter or Christmas.
Ten masses spread over the day
Four masses have already been celebrated before half past twelve, and there will be 10 in total on Sunday, spread over the whole day. The faithful had to register beforehand, in order to distribute the flows over all the celebrations. "We have five masses which take place in the parish church," explains Father Barthélémy, parish priest, "and five others in the crypt, which has been set up to be able to celebrate with a piano, microphones, so that it gets as close to a normal celebration as possible. "
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Hydroalcoholic gel replaces holy water
On the sanitary side, we also adapt: no holy water but hydroalcoholic liquid sprayed on the hands of each worshiper, condemned or spaced chairs, wearing a mandatory mask. "We must submit to it, without problem. It will last a certain time and then after we will find our freedom! It does not change faith", says Hélène, a parishioner who has just left the Church.
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She also judges the marathon organization "remarkable. They give their all, do not waste their time and multiply, it really is the love of God!" Eight priests will thus continue to animate the masses in turn, which requires a little preparation recognizes Father Barthélémy, but the pleasure is still there. "It is not painful to celebrate Mass, on the contrary it is a joy! Especially since we have been deprived of masses with assemblies for a long time, so it is a fairly light constraint."
More than 200 faithful per mass will follow each other all day until the last celebration, at 8:30 p.m.