By Njoki Githinji
NDOLA, FEBRUARY 2, 2021 (CISA)-Catholic Churches in the Catholic Diocese of Ndola have been directed to reduce daily Masses to at least twice a week, observe health guidelines, only have communion helpers when it is very necessary and according to the number of congregants at Mass and hold adoration of the Blessed Sacrament monthly until further notice as directed by the Bishop Benjamin Phiri, ordinary of Ndola.
In a January 29 memo, Bishop Phiri directed Radio Icengelo to resume live streaming of daily Masses on radio and Facebook as the country battles a second wave of Covid-19.
For funeral and burial rites, the bishop said priests will celebrate Vigil Masses for the deceased without the body of the deceased in church a day before with at most 50 people.
“On the day of the burial the body will be taken from the mortuary straight to the graveyard for burial. Where possible, the body may be blessed before being taken for burial,” the bishop said while also outlawing viewing of the body during burials.
Small Christian communities will be held monthly, with a limited number of parish representatives, while lay groups meeting remain suspended until further notice. Only parish executive meetings shall be held for administrative purposes.
As catechism classes remain suspended, the bishop advised parents “to take responsibility of transmitting the faith to their children.”
Baptism, confession, confirmation and anointing of the sick have been suspended as they involve physical contact.
“Regarding anointing the sick, names of the sick persons shall be given to the priests to be prayed for. The sacrament of matrimony will be celebrated with not more than 50 people present,” the bishop said.
The bishop advised that once a priest in a parish tests positive for Coid-19, that particular parish shall close for 14 days until they turn negative. The parish shall also close if many parishioners test positive until it is deemed safe to reopen it.
“Once the parish is closed, the parish priest and the parish executive of that parish shall arrange for fumigation of the parish premises,” said the bishop.
He admonished faithful to adhere to all safety guidelines by the ministry of health, go for early testing and abstain from communal liturgical celebrations if they felt unwell.