To Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful
Of the Archdiocese
DIRECTIVES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF HOLY WEEK IN COVID-19
Peace be with you!
Beloved, let us thank God for another opportunity to celebrate the paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. We shall celebrate this mystery while referring to the Decree issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship in March 2020 on Holy Week and the following directives:
- Psalm Sunday. The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated within Sacred Buildings; in the Cathedral church, the second form given in the Roman Missal is to be adopted; in parish churches and in other places the third form is to be used. Therefore, there shall be no public procession and dramatization of the Passion.
The Chrism Mass. The Chrism Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, 31st March 2021 at 10 am at the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Adabraka. Participation has been restricted to only the following: all Priests and four (4) representatives from each Religious Congregation and two (2) representatives from each Parish/Rectorate.
Holy Thursday. The washing of feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted. At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the procession is also omitted and the Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle. On this day the faculty to celebrate Mass in a suitable place, without the presence of the people, is exceptionally granted to all priests.
Good Friday. In the Universal Prayer in the afternoon liturgy, this special intention for those who find themselves in distress, the sick, and the dead should be prayed (cf. Missale Romanum). For those suffering the effects of Covid-19
Deacon or other minister:
Let us pray for all enduring the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the sick and the dead, those who feel lost or dismayed;
as well as those who care for the sick. Though chastised now by affliction,
may they find relief at last through God’s loving mercy.
Pray in silence.
Then the priest with hands extended sings or says Priest:
Almighty and merciful God,
look with compassion on our affliction;
lighten our burden and so confirm our faith,
that we may always trust without hesitation in your Fatherly providence. Through Christ our Lord. R: Amen.
The adoration of the Cross by kissing it shall be limited solely to the celebrant. Where the Stations of Cross is to be conducted (earlier in the day), it must take place inside the church, as usually done on the Fridays of Lent. There shall be no public procession.
- The Easter Vigil. In view of the general restriction on public processions, only the priests and other ministers may process with lighted candles from the entrance into the church. All others must remain in the church. For the “Baptismal Liturgy” only the “Renewal of Baptismal Promises” is maintained. There will be no baptism on this day. (cf. Missale Romanum).
Easter Picnic: There will be no Easter Picnic on Easter Monday.
While ensuring the solemnity of the Holy Week celebrations, the directive on the two•
hour duration should be borne in mind.
Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all a fruitful celebration of Easter. May the crucified and risen Christ grant us victory over the COVID-19 pandemic and, above all, eternal life.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. John Bonaventure KWOFIE, C.S.Sp, Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra.