The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has directed the resumption of the liturgical practice of handshake popularly known as ‘Kiss of Peace’, about 30 months after its suspension.
The suspension followed the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organisation as a global emergency.
The decision to lift the suspension was taken during the proceedings of the just-concluded second plenary of the CBCN which was held in Orlu, Imo State.
The directive was contained in a memo titled, ‘Kiss of Peace’, by Rev Fr Cosmas Uzoigwe, Personal Assistant to the CBCN President, Most Rev Lucius Ugorji, dated September 17 and obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday.
The memo was sent to all Archdiocesan Priests, Religious Priests and male and female religious lay faithful in the Owerri Archdiocese.
It read in part, “Most Rev Ugorji has directed that the traditional shaking of hands (Kiss of Peace) during Eucharistic celebration and other events in the liturgical celebrations of the Church should resume and come back to life.
“The resolution to commence the liturgical gesture of shaking of hands came following the proceedings of the recently concluded second plenary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria which was held at Orlu.”
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