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Rwanda: Catholic Church to reopen with strict COVID 19 Prevention measures

Faithful will ensure physical distancing in the Church

To ensure compliance with the preventive measures, the Catholic Church in Rwanda is considering strict rules to be observed by the faithful.

Among other things, it will involve removing chairs and suspending the “sign of peace” that worshipers give themselves through a hug, hug or handshake, according to an authoritative source.

Rwanda announced on March 21, a first two-week confinement at the very beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. This confinement was extended twice until April 30.

On June 1, measures to ease partial containment were announced, allowing public and private companies to return to work with essential staff, while other employees continue to work from home.

With continued relaxation measures, places of worship, wedding ceremonies, as well as hotel meetings and conferences are some of the services that have been chosen to resume, as the country continues to slowly reopen its economy.

According to one of the resolutions of the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame earlier this month, religious wedding ceremonies will soon resume, but the number of guests should not exceed 30 people.

In addition, the places of worship will remain closed, but in the meantime, investment in the precautionary and preventive measures of Covid-19 is encouraged to allow preparation for their reopening in 15 days after an epidemiological evaluation which must expire July 2.

Earlier this week, the Catholic Bishop of Rwanda, Philippe Rukamba, suggested that the faithful should start receiving Communion with a spoon due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Traditionally, the practice of communion by taking the host directly on the tongue or in the hand was required for each devotee, but according to new instructions, the rite should allow the devotees to receive the communion using a spoon to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

In addition, holy water, which is often kept in fonts placed at the entrance of the church for anyone who wishes to take it or bring it home, will no longer be available for all religious services in all parishes.

Instead of shaking hands as a sign of the peace of Christ, congregation members are simply asked to greet the person sitting next to them, the Catholic Church said.

 

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