The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has suspended public mass attendance by faithful.
Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos said this in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
He said that the suspension was due to the restriction on social gatherings imposed by the State Government.
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, with a heavy heart I have to address another circular within two days to you regarding the COVID-19 and the situation in Lagos State.
“We had been able to ascertain that the restriction of people to gather together for worship was for not more than fifty.
“We have heard today that the number has been reviewed downwards to not more than twenty by the state government.
“With deep regrets, we are constrained to direct that Mass with the faithful in attendance is to be suspended,” he said.
He emphasised that mass was not suspended but what was suspended was mass with the faithful in attendance.
“Mass is not suspended as priests will continue to offer mass for the people and the whole world, what has been suspended is Mass with the faithful in attendance.
“We urge the faithful to view this situation in the light of the fact that we are fighting a war, a war with an invisible deadly enemy with weapons that are very dangerous to human life.
“We know that God is able to deal with it for us just as he fought for the People of Israel.
“Meanwhile we urge you to spend the Sundays as a holy day. You may make an altar with a crucifix and possibly candlelight,” he said.
He advised faithful to read the readings for the day, share the word of God with one another, pray the rosary and the “Prayer for an End to the Coronavirus Pandemic”.
“Do take time to tune to Lumen Christi Television Network on DSTV Channel 350 and EWTN, DSTV Channel 348 so that you may follow the mass.
“We shall continue to monitor the situation and discern what we must do in order to support ourselves as we face this present challenge that has been foisted on us.
“We should take this as a sacrifice that we must make and ask God to accept it as our prayers for his intervention.
“In the days to come, we shall reflect more on the situation and discern what more we must do,” he said.
He urged parish priests to endeavor to pass on this new development to their parishioners.
“We would continue to find ways and means of ensuring that everyone’s faith continues to be nourished and that we support ourselves in dealing with this present challenge, ” he said.
The Archbishop prayed for God’s healing power on the country, courage and hope to take precautions on the spread of the ravaging pandemic of COVID-19, “Deliver us from this evil”.