The Catholic Church in Abuja has announced the restoration of traditional church handshakes, which had been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Grace, the Archbishop of Owerri Diocese, Most Rev. Lucius IIwejur-Ugorji, said in a statement on September 18th, 2021, that worshippers should resume the “Kiss of Peace” during Eucharistic and other Church liturgical celebrations.
The statement was signed by Rev. Fr. Cosmas Uzoigwe, the Archbishop’s Personal Assistant, and was made public on Sunday in Abuja by the Church’s National Director of Social Communications, Fr Mike Umoh.
The statement was addressed to all Priests and Lay faithful in the Archdiocese of Owerri, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
“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 recent 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.