Monday, August 11, 2014

Catholic Church Bans Sign of Peace Greeting And Communion on Worshippers’ Tongues

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To check the likely spread of the Ebola virus, the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has announced new procedures for worshippers at Church Mass.

The measures were contained in a directive by the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, and include the administration of the Holy Communion on the palm of the faithful as against placing it on the tongue of the recipient.

It also calls for the stoppage of hand shake by worshippers done during consecration of the Holy Communion as sign of peace.

Onaiyekan’s directive is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Social Communications in the archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Patrick Alumunku. The statement reads in part;

“Due to the prevailing national situation on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), I am directing that the following pastoral guidelines should be observed throughout our Archdiocese till further notice.

“The sign of peace should be omitted at Mass, Communion in the hand is highly recommended and should be encouraged (unless for those who insist on receiving on the tongue).”

The cardinal also directed that special intercessory prayers should be offered during the holy mass against the spread of the virus.

This message has already been disseminated in some churches. It was announced by Rev. Fr. Moses Jimbili, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Nyanya, who told parishioners at the church that the measures were to check the spread of Ebola disease.

Jimbili said,

“You know some people sweat a lot and since one of the ways the virus can be transmitted is through sweating, it will be better to stop handshake so that one does not contract it."

He also advised worshipers to be prayerful over the Ebola scourge.


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