Utrecht Catharijne Church prepares for funeral Cardinal Simonis

The funeral of the emeritus cardinal Simonis, who passed away yesterday, will be held on Thursday 10 September in the Catharijnekerk in Utrecht. Because of the coronation measures a maximum of 100 guests can be present in the church. Normally there is room for more than 550 people. The funeral will be broadcasted on TV by KRO/NCRV.

In the Catharijnekerk (officially: Saint Catherine’s Cathedral) sexton Ben van der Maat has set up a place of remembrance. According to him Simonis came to the church mainly for celebrations, but “he also liked to play the organ here”.

At the cardinal’s armor cloth with the saying “So that they may know you” there is a possibility to light a candle. “Since the church opened at 10 o’clock this morning, there is more run-up than usual”, says sexton Van der Maat. “People like to think about it.”

Special mailbox

The archdiocese of Utrecht is still thinking about how the public can officially say goodbye to Simonis. For example, there is no book of condolence in the cathedral yet. According to a spokesman this is not possible just like that, because people are not allowed to hold the same pens or write in the same book because of the coronavirus. That’s why people are thinking of a post box in the cathedral where people can leave their message or memory.

One day before the funeral Simonis’ coffin goes to the Catharijnekerk. There people can say goodbye from noon until eight o’clock in the evening. Measures are taken so that people can keep enough distance when saying goodbye.

Work

In the preparation the verger also looks at the pavement in front of the church. It is open because work is being done on the heat network. Van der Maat: “Hopefully the work can be stopped and the street around the church can be made neat and tidy The diocese is in consultation with the contractor to have the piece for the Catharijnekerk ready in a week’s time.

Cardinal Simonis will be buried in the St. Barbara cemetery in Utrecht. Almost all of his predecessors are buried there as well.

Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, emeritus archbishop of Utrecht, has passed away. Simonis, was for decades the face of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands