Leadership (Abuja)

11 August 2014

Nigeria: Ebola Scare - Abuja Catholic Archdiocese Omits Shaking of Hands in Mass

Catholic faithful in the Abuja Archdiocese, yesterday, celebrated Sunday Mass without the usual shaking of hands, a symbol of 'sharing a sign of peace', which may be unconnected to the scare of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

It is characteristic of the minister, celebrating the mass, to call for a sign of peace during the course of the service, and worshippers would then offer each other a handshake, share an embrace or other appropriate gesture of peace with those around them.

While celebrating mass at St Donalds Catholic Church, Sokale, Dutse, Bwari area council, Fr Mathew Zaah, read out a directive from the Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, where he instructed the omission of the sign of peace until further notice.

The message further instructed that the communion, which was usually search to parishioners by the minister, should now be collected by hand.

He also called for prayers from the Catholic faithful, so that a cure for the virus will be found quickly, so as, to save the lives of those already infected by the virus.

Recall that medical report had revealed that people can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, urine, sweat etc. of an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient.

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