On the occasion of this year’s season of Advent which begun on Sunday 29th November 2020, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ conference issued a pastoral letter on the theme: “Welcoming Christ, Living in Peace with all”.
The letter signed by the president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Reverend Philip Naameh stated that the theme was inspired firstly by the spirit and character of the Advent season which invites all of us to prepare our minds and hearts to welcome Christ the Saviour at Christmas.
The advent season marks the beginning of a new year of worship. It is the Church’s season of beginnings, expectations, and hope, “…a season of firm confidence in a loving and kind God who continues to encounter us and call us towards a future full of new possibilities…”
Having observed that the catholic faithful have not been attending Holy Mass even though COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted, but prefer to follow Holy Mass on television and other digital forms, the Bishops’ conference reiterates that “virtual reality is no substitute for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist… there are no sacraments on the internet; and even the religious experiences possible there by the grace of God are insufficient apart from real-world interaction with other persons of faith” (The Church and Internet 9)
Catholic are to remember that we all have an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday as it is the day of the Lord’s resurrection. Watching and hearing mass through the digital network cannot dispense anyone from the obligation to be part of the Eucharistic assembly. The pastoral letter stated that “…active participation and sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ are the surest means for the Church to bond together as members of the same family, church-Family of God” (Ecclesia in Africa 63)
Catholics who are not bound by old age or sickness are entreated to make the effort to participate physically in Sunday Holy Masses while ensuring that all the COVID-19 protocols are fully observed.
“we wish you all a fruitful preparation for Christmas during this Advent season, a happy celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a prosperous and peace-filled New Year” Most Reverend Philip Naameh
Source: Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference