Live-streaming Masses Will Continue- Accra Catholic Archbishop
Following the address by the President of the Republic of Ghana on Sunday, May 31, 2020, about the easing of some of the imposed restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the office of Catholic Archdiocese of Accra has assured that live streaming and live telecast of Masses will continue.
In a letter to Catholics in Accra on June 3,2020, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, encouraged parishes to still continue to hold online streaming Holy Masses and Catechesis to enable the home bound and those who for many reasons cannot make it, to be fed with the word of God as well.
He thanked all for their role and support in the fight against the COVID-19 and implored all and sundry to continue to pray for the pandemic to end to they can return to a normal life.
As part of containing the virus, stringent measures are still being adopted all over the world including in an effort to fight the COVID-19.
Some of the measures adopted are, paying attention to personal hygiene and observing social distancing protocols.
To break the chain of the spread of the virus, many institutions, authorities, Governments and Churches suspended social or public gatherings so as to ensure the safety of everyone.
The Catholic Church in this regard, have strictly adhered to the directive from their respective Governments.
Addressing the Clergy and Lay Faithful, the Archbishop Kwofie thanked the Catholic Health Professionals’ Guild for their professional advice which led to the developing the guidelines .
The Archbishop was swift to empathize that even though churches are now permitted to hold services with not more than hundred (100) persons starting from Sunday, June 7, 2020, no parish or church is obliged to respond because it is not mandatory.
He was of the view that the proper measures be put in place before resuming services so as to not endanger human lives.
“No parish is obliged to implement this unless the requisite logistics that guarantee a safe opening and operation have been put in place,” he cautioned.
The Archbishop asked the Priests to work with the parish councils to ensure the well-being of parishioners override all other considerations as he rolled out key strategies that would help.
He stated that the fumigation and disinfection of churches before any parish is opened for public use, and the establishment of COVID-19 teams un the various parishes to guide, advice and accompany parishioners throughout the pandemic period are matters that needed immediate attention.
“The Team should comprise medical experts and persons with some technical knowledge to help in handling the pandemic They are to work with the Parish Priest to ensure adherence to safety measures.”
He also added some general safety measures to employ in the church, in addition to all other safety directives given by the Government, to ensure less or no viral cases.
“Parishioners who assist in counting Collections shall take necessary precautions including wearing of gloves, face masks and using sanitizers as and when required.
He directed that “Designated entrances and exits should be marked where feasible.
Observe social distancing measures at times for offertory, collection, Communion and other activities
Baptisms, marriages, burial Masses and other Church gatherings must be performed following current public health norms regarding social distancing and hygiene.”
“For Sunday Masses, there will be one- hour duration between one Mass and the other to allow the disinfection of pews and chairs before the next Mass. Each Mass is to last not more than an hour. Sunday School Children Services are suspended during this period.”
Archbishop Kwofie concluded by granting permission to Priests to hold anticipatory Saturday evening Masses, two Masses on Weekdays and three Masses on Sundays either at the grotto or in the Parish Hall at their own given time and at their discretion.
He appealed that in situations where the Eucharist will be celebrated outside the premises of the Church, the place must be marked with a sense of reverence and decorum.