Church of England Limits Wedding, Baptism Attendance to Five People, Including Bride and Groom

St. Mary’s Church at Woburn in southern England, May 15, 2015. | Reuters/Toby Melville

The Church of England has issued new guidance for baptisms and weddings amid the global coronavirus outbreak, limiting attendees to five, including the bride and groom.

Ceremonies can proceed, the church said in official guidance released Thursday, and it should be limited to two witnesses the priest marrying the couple and the bride and groom.

Amid the uncertainty over such drastic measures, Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Beatrice, who is engaged to be married, is “reviewing” her wedding plans. Her wedding was set to occur in the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace in London in late May.

“The couple will carefully consider government advice before deciding whether a private marriage may take place among a small group of family and friends,” a spokesperson for the palace said.

The Church of England guidance goes on to recommend that where relatives and friends are unable to attend in light of the new limits, churches will be glad to facilitate digital means of joining the ceremony through tools like Skype or by recording the service to send at a later date.

“Where no audio link can be achieved, an order of service could be sent either by email or post. Apart from the bride and groom, the physical distance should be observed as far as possible,” the guidance reads.

“No additional church personnel will attend the service, for example organists, vergers or sound system operator etc.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter