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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

HolyWeek: What Martins told priests, religious, faithful @Archdiocese of Lagos - ITREALMS

1.Holy Week Ceremonies: Since we cannot transfer the Holy Week celebrations and Easter to another time, we shall celebrate in ways most appropriate for these times. The lockdown that government has imposed upon our State has compelled us to alter the aspects of the earlier directives given in our circular on Curtailing the Spread of Corona virus. The following shall be the way by which we shall celebrate the Holy Week this year:

Palm Sunday: shall be celebrated in the same way as we have been celebrating Sunday Masses in the last two weeks except that as the priests celebrate, they shall bless the quantity of palms that they would need for Ash Wednesday of 2021 DV.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper: may be celebrated also by priests in their parishes but without the presence of the lay faithful. Of course, there should be neither washing of feet nor procession with the Blessed Sacrament at the end of Mass. The Blessed Sacrament shall be reposed in the Tabernacle as usual.

Good Friday: As the celebration is done by priests in their parishes, there should be a prayer for those who find themselves in distress, the sick and the dead added to the Universal Prayers during the celebration.

Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday: Celebrations shall be held in the Cathedral and Parish Churches. For the Baptismal Liturgy only the Renewal of Baptismal Promises is maintained (Cf. Missale Romanum)

Easter Monday: Of course, the normal Galilee Day Celebration is not to be held this year.

2. FASTING AND PRAYING: APRIL 2nd - 8TH 2020: We know that unless the Lord builds the house, in vain does the builder labour; and unless the Lord watches over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil. it is therefore important that we step up our prayers asking God to bring an end to the corona virus problem. Whenever there were scourges and plagues in the history of mankind, prayers turned out to be the ultimate solution. It is in this light that we ask all Priests, Religious and lay faithful to pray more fervently than ever before.

We already have a prayer that we are saying, and I hope that this is being said at families’ prayers. In addition to that, I want to enjoin all the faithful in the Archdiocese of Lagos to embark on a period of Fasting and Prayers for the intention of bringing an end to the COVID-19 problem.

From 2nd of April 2020 to 8th of April 2020 we should all FAST and gather together in PRAYERS at 3.00pm each day for the Divine Mercy Prayer. The lockdown that we are experiencing at this time is Divine Providence that makes it easy for us to gather as families to say the prayers at 3pm for the duration. When the faithful is united in prayer for a common intention at an agreed time, we have no doubt that the promise of God that He would be present wherever two or three are gathered in His name will come to pass. He will, indeed, be present to receive our prayers and grant our hearts’ desire.

Our effort to fast is apart from the Lenten fast and the Divine Mercy Prayer is particularly directed towards asking for God’s mercy concerning the corona virus pandemic all over the world. Priests and Associations of the Lay faithful should kindly pass this message to all their members wherever they may be.

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