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World news in brief

01 December 2023

Washington National Cathedral

A Christmas eucharist in Washington National Cathedral

A Christmas eucharist in Washington National Cathedral

Cathedral backtracks on fee to reserve a seat

THE National Cathedral in Washington, DC, has announced that it will no longer charge for seat reservations for its Advent and Christmas services, after being criticised on social media. After the Facebook announcement on Monday “Christmas service passes now available!”, social-media had criticised its $7 processing fee. A statement posted on the cathedral website on Tuesday said that, since 2009, it had “used advance passes, and charged a small processing fee, for reserved seating at our most popular services”. Allocating seats by means of reserved passes had helped it to manage “strict capacity limits and safety requirements for the large crowds” who attended its Advent and Christmas services, it said. The fee was intended to cover the costs of managing ticketing for thousands of seats. It continued, however: “We never want finances to be a barrier to worship at the Cathedral, and it is clear that this fee has become a barrier. Effective immediately, there is no longer a required processing fee for advance passes.”


Deconsecrated church to be used for pet funerals

A FORMER CHURCH in Germany is to to be used, from tomorrow, for funerals for pets, The Times reports. They will be held in St Paul’s, Albstadt, in south-west Germany, a deconsecrated former Methodist church. The ceremonies will involve “a professional pet celebrant complete with an altar, pulpit, pews and stained-glass windows”, the paper reports. “The first service will be for a dog.” Ellen Weinmann, who runs a pet crematorium in the town, is quoted as saying: “I’ve lost count of the number of applications that have come in. . . An elderly man came up to me recently and said, ‘It’s nice that someone has finally realised that we need something like this. I want to mourn my last dog in the same way as I will mourn my wife.’”

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