A small group of Nicaraguan Catholics attended this Thursday the Eucharist held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua in which, in addition to the rosary, they used masks and gloves as preventive measures against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The parishioners, in addition to the masks and gloves, loaded gel alcohol and implemented the social distance of more than one meter recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to Efe.
The parishioner Omar Dabul told Efe that although he attended the mass in person for his faith, he recognized that “it is not very convenient to hold masses where many people gather, to avoid contagion.”
It is of the opinion that the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference should suspend face-to-face masses “at some point, to prevent” the spread of “such a pandemic.”
EXPECT ORDER OF THE CHURCH
That idea is shared by Angelina Trejos, another of the few Catholics who attended the Eucharist.
He observed that the temple is a reference, but that prayer can be performed in an intimate place and “have that closeness with God.”
“If the Church calls us to do that (not to attend the masses), we will abide by it,” Trejos told Efe.
During mass and at certain times, some parishioners rubbed alcohol gel on their hands, while maintaining an appropriate distance between them.
The use of masks among the altar servers who attended the priest also stood out.
The Nicaraguan bishops ordered their priests that starting today all liturgical celebrations, including Sunday and Easter services, may be held without the presence of the faithful, although the temples and chapels of the Blessed Sacrament will remain open.
TRADITIONAL VIACRUCIS WAS SUSPENDED
They also invited the parishioner to live each liturgical celebration by joining the Church’s media, which will constantly broadcast these celebrations.
Among others, the traditional penitential way of the cross that remembers the last hours of Jesus Christ before being crucified, known as the “passion of Christ”, was canceled by the Archdiocese of Managua as a preventive measure against the pandemic.
Nicaraguan Cardinal and Archbishop of Managua, Leopoldo Brenes, has invited the faithful to follow the Via Crucis meditations through the Catholic media.
Brenes, who is also president of the Episcopal Conference, said that the processions for the “passion of Christ” in the rest of the country will be left to the discretion of the local pastor and his parish council.
The Archdiocese of Managua also decided to celebrate the Chrism Mass, on Maundy Thursday, only with the priests who will renew their promises, and instead of foot washing, there will be a hand wash.
In general, the Diocese of Managua recommended that people vulnerable to the virus not physically participate in liturgical celebrations, but follow them through the media or social networks.
Catholics represent 58% of the population, according to official figures.
NICARAGUA HAS NOT DECREED AN ALERT OR RESTRICTIONS
Nicaragua has confirmed two cases of coronavirus, one of them is in critical condition, but unlike the rest of the Central American countries it has not decreed any type of alert or emergency due to the pandemic, nor has it ordered the suspension of classes.
Nor has it restricted the entry or mobility in the territory to any traveler and has said that it will not establish any type of quarantine to those affected.
Nicaraguans have decided to act on their own based on WHO recommendations, because they believe that the Government has not taken preventive measures in the face of the pandemic, only surveillance.