Lubaga Cathedral tightens, security Covid-19 SOPs for Christmas prayers

Lubaga Cathedral

Amidst the threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and bomb alert, Christmas at the Kampala Archdiocesan seat in Lubaga has been observed under strict rules.

All churchgoers were required to use two entry points to access the Lubaga cathedral compound.

Security officers manning the checkpoints thoroughly checked, sanitized, and ensured that all those accessing the cathedral wore their masks correctly.

No person was allowed in the church, an hour prior to the main service.

Both security and church ushers made rounds to double-check and ensure the church was secure and free from any threats.

All the church doors were locked leaving one entrance.

The seats were disinfected. The main entrance was opened to the faithful at 9:30 am.

They formed two lines one for males and another for females. There was strict observance of social distance, with between two or three people occupying the pew, which is capable of accommodating seven people.

When Christians filled up the available seats, the ushered guided the remaining group to occupy the seats outside the church.

“There are no more seats in the church if we want to maintain social distance as required, no more people should be allowed inside the church,” a sister said.

Although some churchgoers insisted on entering the church since they had masks, their prayers fell on deaf ears.

The chairs outside the church were also filled up leaving several people standing.

At 10:00 am the Christmas procession for the main celebrant entered the church accompanied by the choir singing the famous Christmas Luganda hymn “Wulira bamalayika”.

The Christians expected to see the Archbishop-elect Paul Ssemogerere who until recently has been the Apostolic administrator of the then-vacant see.

But to their surprise; it was Archbishop Augustine Kasujja waving to them.

“It seems many of you are surprised with my face. I know you expected to see the Archbishop-elect. Yes, you are right to anticipate. He asked to have Christmas at Kasana-Luweero. But soon he will be yours after his installation,” Archbishop Kasujja, who recently retired from the diplomatic service of the Holy See said before the mass started.

Outside the church, all sacramental vendors who normally swarm the cathedral to sell different religious items were not allowed in the church premises.

Alexander Mugerwa, a vendor of Sacramentals, says that they were told that there is no sufficient space for the congregation given the social distance requirement.

He says that they were advised to work from a far distance but they still were checked by security to ensure that they don’t carry any dangerous materials.

Alice Nambarirwa, another vendor, says that even though they make their major sales on such days, the arrangement, which sent them away from the church among other factors like the COVID-19 induced poverty has affected their sales.

Security officers also advised the congregants to limit movements.

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