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Nigeria: Catholic Church Resumes Handshake During Mass, After COVID-19 Pandemic

The Catholic Church in Nigeria has resumed the resumption of the traditional handshake in churches, which was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His Grace, Most Reverend Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri Diocese and President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) said in a statement that worshippers were to resume the “Kiss of Peace” during Eucharistic and other events in the liturgical celebrations of the Church.

The statement was signed by Reverend Father Cosmas Uzoigwe, Personal Assistant to the Archbishop and released on Sunday through the National Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Church, Father Mike Umoh, in Abuja. It was addressed to all Priests and Lay faithful.

According to the statement, “it would be recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pronounce stringent guidelines which affected our liturgical worship, and one of such was that which restrained all from shaking hands during Mass.

“The resolution to commence the liturgical gesture of shaking of hands came following the proceedings of the recently concluded Second Plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria held at Orlu.

“We thank God who led us through the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we pray Him to bless us always with His presence,” the Archbishop said.

NAN

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