John Weber wrote:
After the first couple of games, I just leave the player meeples from those using the Church action on top of the bag so the game doesn't become a memory contest.
We also put them in the bag just before the mass.
Memory contest: this is not necessary since you always can count the others on the board/farm. But of course it's more elegant to have them out of the bag during the round.
Btw. the German rules say: Anyone can check the contents of the black bag at any time...