COVID-19: Catholic church to resume handshakes during mass 30-month after

 COVID-19: Catholic church to resume handshakes during mass 30-month after

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has directed the resumption of handshakes popularly known as ‘Kiss of Peace’ during the celebration of mass after suspending the Eucharistic practice 30 months ago.

The suspension had followed the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health emergency in the year 2020.

The decision to lift the suspension was taken during proceedings of the just-concluded second plenary of the CBCN which held in Orlu, Imo State.

The directive was contained in a memo titled, ‘Kiss of Peace’ which was dated September 17, 2022 and signed by Rev. Fr. Cosmas Uzoigwe, the Personal Assistant to the President of the CBCN, His Grace, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji.

The terse memo was addressed to Catholic clergy and lay faithful. 

It reads, “Greetings to you all, His Grace, Most Rev. Lucius lwejuru Ugorji has directed that the traditional shaking of hands (Kiss of Peace) during Eucharistic celebration and other events in the liturgical celebrations of the Church should resume and come back to life. 

“Recall that the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pronounce stringent guidelines which affected our liturgical worship, and one of such was that which restrained all from shaking hands during Mass.

“The resolution to commence the liturgical gesture of shaking of hands came following the proceedings of the recent concluded Second Plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria held at Orlu.

“We thank God who led us through the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we pray to Him to bless us always with His presence. Amen.”

Courtesy Vanguard

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