No handshakes, Eucharist on the mouth: Catholic bishops issue guidelines over coronavirus


No handshakes, Eucharist on the mouth: Catholic bishops issue guidelines over coronavirus

Catholic Bishops have urged churches and clergy to elevate the level of preparedness after the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya.

Also Read: Churches, mosques and schools instructed to provide sanitisation apparatus

On Saturday, the Kenya Conference of of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) released a list of measures for congregants to follow during Holy Mass.

“Some of these measures will interrupt our liturgy sensitivity and our customs as Catholics but it is necessary to take them given the high risk our hesitation may expose us all,” said Rev. Daniel Rono, the KCCB General Secretary.

Below are the guidelines from the Catholic Bishops:

  1. Priests to observe highest level of hygiene: wash hands with soap and water before any liturgical celebration including Holy Communion or Anointing the Sick
  2. Servers and extraordinary ministers who come into contact with liturgical items or eucharistic species to observe similar level of hygiene as priests
  3. Holy water to be temporarily removed from the water fronts (congregation however allowed to carry holy water for use at home)
  4. No hand greetings: Christians urged to wave at one another during the exchange of peace in the daily mass celebrations
  5. Abstain from Holy Mass  celebrations if sick
  6. Congregation to receive the Eucharist on the hand
  7. Follow guidelines from World Health Organization and Health Ministry
  8. Sanitizers to be provided in strategic places (church areas, meeting halls and parish offices)
  9. If you catch the flu, go to a health facility to get tested, monitored
  10. Avoid discriminating or stigmatizing affected persons

The government banned public gatherings after confirming the first case of coronavirus as a Kenyan woman who travelled from the U.S. to Kenya on March 5. 2020.

The banned gatherings include church crusades, public meetings, games and all inter-school events.

Churches, mosques and schools are however not affected by the ban but the government has ordered that the institutions instead provide sanitisation apparatus.

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