Nigeria’s Lagos Archdiocese Resumes Weekday Public Liturgies after COVID-19 Measures Eased

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins during Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.

Following the September 19 easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Nigeria’s Lagos State, the leadership of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has announced the resumption of the weekday liturgical celebrations in public.

In a statement published Monday, September 21, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins says, "The announcement made by the Lagos State Government on 19th September 2020, has ushered in another phase of the gradual easing of restrictions due to COVID-19." 

"With this phase, Churches can now resume public religious activities during the week," says Archbishop Adewale. 

The resumption of weekday activities kicks off amid uncertainty as the State Government is "still unclear about some specifics," the Local Ordinary of Lagos says.

"It is not yet clear whether there is a change in the number of persons that can participate at gatherings for religious activities or whether children below 12 years of age can now participate in the religious activities since they have resumed school," Archbishop Adewale says in the September 21 message.


The Prelate further says, "While we await clarifications from the State Government on the above and similar issues, we hereby direct that public weekday Masses and other religious activities should resume in all parishes within our Archdiocese." 

"As soon as we get needed clarifications, we shall revert," the Nigerian Archbishop assures the people of God in his pastoral jurisdiction. 

On September 19, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced that "Churches can now conduct their midweek services and mosques can open for the five times daily prayers."

The celebrations of Mass in public on Sundays were resumed in August in the Archdiocese of Lagos, a couple of months after the leadership of other States had allowed the resumption of public worship.

The suspension of the reopening of places of worship was attributed to the increase in cases of COVID-19 in the region. 

More in Africa

Lagos State has remained the epicenter of the outbreak in the West African country with 18,982 out of the total 57,437 reported cases. 

In his message, the 61-year-old Archbishop reminds the people of God in his jurisdiction to adhere to the health and safety regulations, which were put in place to stem the spread of the disease. 

"We must also continue to encourage our people to keep to the regulations in their daily activities," Archbishop Adewale says and implores, “Let us continue to pray for an end to the spread of the deadly virus."

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.