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Coronavirus: Catholic Church won’t suspend holy mass

As a number of churches across the city have opted to suspend services due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Church has said it will remain open every day including Sundays.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) issued the new guidelines in a statement sent to newsrooms.

KCCB says that churches will remain open as they act as focal points of prayer for most Catholics. Also Holy mass will continue to be celebrated in churches on Sundays.

“Holy Masses will continue to be celebrated in our churches but the Bishops’ conference recommends that the Diocesan Bishops grant temporary dispensation from the Sunday obligation for the next three weeks for any faithful who may need it,” said Father Philip Anyolo the chairman of KCCB.

What this means is that worshippers are at liberty to elect whether to attend church or stay away.

Measures of prudence are observed

But it will not be business as usual as priests have been directed to ensure church sessions are brief and measures of prudence are observed.

“However, those who are able to attend Sunday Mass may do so observing all the measures of prudence. At the same time we ask the priests to exercise caution in regard to large gatherings, that is, keeping the recommended distance of one metre. We ask priests to strictly exercise caution regarding the large gatherings. However Masses should be brief,” added Fr Anyolo.

Priests have also been asked to give messages of encouragement and hope to faithful and not to create panic and anxiety.

House mass for Small Christian Communities or Jumuiya’s have, however, been discouraged. Those handling church offerings should wear protective devices, like gloves and mask where necessary.

Guidelines on Easter celebrations, to be marked on April 12 will be given in due course.

Fr Anyolo added: “Our dear people of God we wish to bring to your attention that these guidelines will be reviewed as we continue to monitor the unfolding situation. In addition, we urge Kenyans to keep observing the basic precautionary hygienic measure given by the Ministry of Health.”