(A big thank you to my email buddy who sent this.)
The Black Death in Scandinavian countries
The King feared that "all our misdeeds should lead the same 'plaga' and mortality to our subjects." He had, therefore, taken responsibility for the well-being of the people. He had summoned their bishops, a number of Councillors of the realm and canons of the cathedrals whose bishops could not, at so short notice, attend the meetings where measures should be discussed that "could please God and induce Him by his grace to bestow his mercy on us". They had agreed on the following measures:
"all people throughout all the Realm of Sweden, rich, ecclesiastics, laymen, old and young, females and males, should come barefooted to their parish churches on Friday in every week and confess their belief in God, His righteousness and power, with appropriate humility. They should walk (in procession) around the church with their sacred treasures (relics, images of saints, and so on), attend Mass with invocation of God on that day, make their offerings on the altar of the pennies that they could afford, so that others could receive alms. The Church wardens should distribute this offer among poor people and it should under no circumstances come in the hands of the priest. We order and advise you that on each Friday every Christian shall fast on water and bread: those who do not want to do that shall at least abstain from all fish and fast on ale and bread.
Mass shall be said in honor of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, that She would deign to ask her blessed Son on her behalf to turn His wrath away from these countries for the sake of our humility. Every bishop has granted 40 days of indulgence to all those in his diocese who have prepared themselves for their deaths and made proper confessions, which all human beings are advised to do these days. ... For this reason, We convey to all human beings the curative advice for their souls that every human being, while God still has given him some time, to cleanse his conscience, make his confession and with full contrition do penance for his sins, so that when God will visit him, He will find him so ready that his souls would be taken in God's hand.
Source: The Black Death and Later Plague Epidemics in the Scandinavian Countries ...By Ole Jørgen Benedictow page 171Once upon a time, shepherds and even kings realized that souls were more important than bodies. In fact we call our priests shepherds of souls. But the coronavirus (and the bishops) have made them run in fear from the coronawolf. Thanks to so many of our priests who are finding creative ways to continue offering the sacrament of Confession and keeping their churches open with hours of adoration.
May we soon see our Masses restored. And two thumbs up to he SSPX who continue to offer Mass in many places with prudential care.
In my own parish, we are having adoration all day today with sign ups of ten people per hour. When I entered the church this morning at 8:00 a.m. I offered holy water to a fellow parishioner who replied, "There are already ten people in the church." I was shocked and responded, "I signed up and I'm not leaving." I was floored that the first thing she did on entering the church (she went in right before we did) was to count people. I went to the other side of the church where the first six to eight pews were empty. It took me several minutes to calm down in the face of this kind of insanity. Our church is large enough to quadruple that number with no contact. Our mission church in Basye is presumably restricting to ten people as well and is about 1/4 the size of our church.
Pray that "social distancing" doesn't destroy our communities. Lord, have mercy on us!