Parish priest of St Anthony’s Church parades the Eucharist through the streets of Weliweriya
A church has held a Eucharistic procession with prayer services seeking blessings to save Sri Lanka and the world from the Covid-19 pandemic while places of worship remain shut.
Father Roshan Fernando, parish priest of St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya, traveled with the Eucharist in a decorated chariot through the streets of Weliweriya on June 27.
Devotees gathered in front of their houses with their children and prayed to save people from the coronavirus as Father Fernando blessed the faithful.
“Due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, the Holy Eucharist takes to the streets of our villages in a chariot to seek blessings for our villages and the country,” said the priest.
The Archdiocese of Colombo provided dry rations and sanitary equipment to the poor in Western Province affected by the first and second waves of the pandemic.
Special medical equipment worth 3.57 million rupees (US$18,800) was donated to the Institute of Bioengineering of the Ministry of Health. In addition, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Salvation Army, personal protective equipment worth 2.22 million rupees and dry rations were distributed to the public.
Sri Lanka has seen a massive jump in the number of Covid-19 infections. It has recorded over 253,600 cases and 2,944 deaths. Victims have been reported to be infected with the Delta variant that is spreading in India and elsewhere.
Army commander Shavendra Silva said steps have been taken to isolate the worst-affected villages.
Many churches are conducting prayer services in the morning and evening via loudspeakers so that the faithful can participate.
This year Catholic feasts and Buddhist festivals have been broadcast live via social media and the faithful attended Mass and other festivities including sermons from their homes.
The pandemic also restricted Poson Poya celebrations. Buddhists missed all their community activities and temple rituals but participated online during the festival on June 24.
Mary De Silva, a member of the Legion of Mary, said the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows recites prayers regularly in the morning and evening through loudspeakers.
“Since there are no other options at this time, we hope to start online Sunday schools. Catholic schools have started classes to help children who wish to receive their first Holy Communion,” said De Silva.