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Mauritian Cardinal to Preside Over Postponed Chrism Mass on Sunday

Maurice Cardinal Piat, Bishop of Port-Louis Diocese Mauritius.

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Mauritius including the stay-at-home directives, the leadership of the Diocese of Port-Louis in the Indian Ocean island nation has announced the celebration of Chrism Mass on Sunday, June 28.

Usually marked on Holy Thursday during the Holy Week, Chrism Mass brings together a Bishop and the Clergy ministering in the diocese in a celebration that recalls the institution of the priesthood with the words of Jesus Christ during the Last Supper: “Do this in memory of me.”

The lay faithful renew their baptismal promises, the Clergy renew the promises they made during their ordination, and the Bishop blesses the three oils to be used during the administration of the Sacraments throughout the diocese.

“Cardinal Maurice E. Piat will proceed with the blessing of the oil of the sick, the oil of the catechumens and the consecration of the Holy Chrism on Sunday, June 28,” the leadership of the Diocese of Port-Louis announced in a message published Wednesday, June 24.

In the message, the leadership of the diocese indicates that the 3 p.m. event will take place at Saint-Louis Cathedral and recalls COVID-19 restrictions as the reason for the postponement of the celebration.

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“This year, in accordance with the measures imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the parishes of the Diocese of Port-Louis will not be able to celebrate Holy Week in the Christian community. This situation is totally unprecedented,” Port-Louis Diocese announced April 3, adding, “the Chrism Mass (the blessing of the holy oils) will not take place as usual during the solemn Mass on Holy Thursday morning. It is postponed to a later date.”

On May 30, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth announced the end of the national lockdown that had been in place since March 20. This paved way for the resumption of public worship starting Sunday, May 31 under particular restrictions.

Needing more time to put in place COVID-19 sanitation protocols, the Local Ordinary of Port-Louis diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat announced a further delay in the reopening of churches to June 2.

The Indian Ocean Island nation has five patients receiving care for COVID-19 after having recorded 341 cases, 10 fatalities and 326 recoveries as of Wednesday, June 24.