As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect social and religious activities, the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese has released programs for Burials and Marriage ceremonies for the Catholics.
According to a statement issued by the Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev Anthony J.V Obinna, the below stated directives will be in force until the coronavirus pandemic scare disappears.
The release dated May 16th, 2020 states “Given the need to be prudent, cautious and respectful of existing health guidelines in our church activities, I hereby give the following directives for funerals.
“The deceased will be taken from the mortuary straight to the church for the reception and Holy Mass.
“There will be no lying in state in the family house before Holy Mass, Family members may go to the mortuary to view the remains before the movement to the church.
“The blowing or blaring of sirens is prohibited.
“No external dance show should accompany the ambulance
“One priest is complete for the Funeral Mass, However, not more than 10 priests may vest to concelebrate.
“There will be no more than persons in the church in order to maintain social distancing.
“The Funeral Requiem Mass will not last more than 70 minutes with no more than 10 minutes for the homily
“All should wear face masks and wash their hands
“There will be no funeral oration. A member of the family will be allowed to express the family thanks in no more than 3 minutes
“There will be no condolence Collection
“One priest is complete for the interment. However, no more than 5 priests may be there.
“Family members, relatives and a few members of the choir will be at the grave side.
“There will be no entertainment of any form
“The ban on the shooting of guns is still in force
“A sense of sobriety and Christian modesty should characterize the funeral.
The second part for Marriage, states “One priest is complete to assist at marriage. However, not more than 8 priests may vest in concelebrate.
“The couple and the sponsors are canonically complete for the marriage consent and witnessing. However, not more than 50 persons are allowed in the church in order to ensure social distancing. All should wear face masks and wash their hands.
“The Mass should not last more than 70 minutes and the homily not more than 10 minutes.
“Only the couple may hug each other after exchanging their consent.
“The kiss of peace will be expressed by bowing.