The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has put in place guidelines to be used for liturgical services during the Great Week, commonly known as the Paschal Week.
TEC said this is for precautions against the spread of coronavirus disease, which has already hit 180 countries, with deaths reaching 27,500 but total cases have topped 600,000.
The guidelines touch on days of the Passion week starting from Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil Mass, and Easter Monday. TEC Secretary-General Charles Kitima revealed that Easter cannot be shifted to another day, even in those countries badly affected by Covid-19.
“The laws of the land and health guidelines issued locally will be observed,” said Dr Kitima. TEC communication elaborates that on Holy Thursday, the segment of washing legs would not be observed, and after the Holy Mass, there would be no procession of the Holy Eucharist, whereas the Host will be kept in the tabernacle.
Priests would be granted special permission to celebrate Mass in the absence of the believers. “On Good Friday, during the general prayers, the bishops will give special intention for those in suffering, the sick and the dead. The kissing of the cross will be done by the main celebrant,” part of the communication reads.
Around the world, bishops have told the faithful that they are not obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. The faithful have been urged to participate via television and the internet.