The fear of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus has compelled the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos to suspend some of its congregational activities as a way of protecting both the faithful and the community.
In a release signed by the Archbishop of the province, Most Rev Dr Adewale Martins, handshakes during Holy Mass is now suspended while the twice-weekly Stations of the Cross during the ongoing Lenten period is now to be observed once a week, even as the faithful have been enjoined to observe the solemn event privately.
The release read:
“In the light of the prevailing spread of Coronavirus also known as COVID-19, the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has come to the following resolutions:
“1. Suspension of handshake at Mass during the sign of peace.
“2. Reduction of Stations of the Cross to once a week, namely only on Fridays while all Catholic faithful are admonished to have it privately on Wednesday.”
According to the statement released in a special circular, the Archbishop, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins stated thus:
“In the light of this present circumstance, we hereby instruct as follows till further notice:
“a. We suspend the shaking of hands as a sign of peace during Holy Mass.
“b. During this season of lent, in order to reduce the number of times to the barest necessary, we encourage people to do Stations of the Cross privately on Wednesdays while public celebrations will be reduced to Fridays only.”
He prayed to God to deliver the faithful from the plague and from every evil.