Roman Catholic, Anglican churches cancel all Masses over Covid-19 fears

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 22:23 by Writer

The Roman Catholic Church’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Georgetown and the Anglican Diocese of Guyana announce that all Masses are cancelled to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

“With this in mind all Masses will be cancelled in the Diocese effective Sunday 22nd March 2020 until further notice,” Roman Catholic Bishop, Francis Alleyne said in a statement.

Instead, he urged the faithful to participate in Mass that will be streamed on Facebook. “All Catholics are strongly urged to participate in Mass which will be st(r)eamed through the Catholic Media Guyana FaceBook page. In this way we can join in prayer, listen to the readings and reflection and participate spiritually in Eucharist,” he said.

The Anglican Bishop of Guyana, Reverend Charles Davidson also announced that all masses are cancelled until March 30, 2020 and all communion to the sick is cancelled. The Anglican Bishop asked members to work with their priests and members for funerals and weddings

Data compiled up to Wednesday by the United States Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering tallied 214,010 coronavirus cases worldwide.So far, the virus has killed one woman in Guyana and infected four others who are from the same family at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara. The Ministry of Public Health said it was working feverishly to locate other persons who were in contact with that family.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “To suppress and control the epidemic, countries must isolate, test, treat and trace,” noting that “This is the best hope of preventing widespread community transmission.”

Bishop Alleyne said from their homes, Roman Catholics can join in fervent prayer in the spirit of the Lenten Season seeking conversion and deeper Communion with God and one another. “Keep in your prayer all the concerns surrounding the COVID-19; those infected, those who have died, health care providers, especially the poor who will first (to) feel the economic fallout from the present situation.

In our homes we can pray the Rosary, pray the Stations of the Cross, read and pray with the daily reading of Scripture. This is a time, though deprived of full communion through gathering as the Body of Christ and receiving the Lord in the Sacrament, we can, in the sentiments of Pope Francis, accompany one another with faith knowing that the Good Shepherd will see us through this time of testing,” he added.