03/31/2020, 00.00
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Cancelled public Holy Week services to be broadcast on TV

by Melani Manel Perera

Sri Lanka has 122 coronavirus cases. Next Friday, Card Malcolm Ranjith will ask Our Lady of Lanka to protect the country and the whole world to. People are asked to light a candle at 11 am when the bells begin to toll.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has decided to cancel all public services scheduled for Holy Week to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. Masses and other services will be broadcast live on television.

Archbishop Card Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, who made the announcement two days ago, will ask Our Lady of Lanka to extend her protection to the country in a special intention next Friday.

The infection rate on the island nation now stands at 122, with two deaths, including a 60-year-old diabetic man from Marawaila. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry reported that 16 people have recovered so far.

“Catholics are going to have a new experience during Holy Week. All special services will be broadcast on TV and radio,’ explained Card Ranjith.

Despite the restrictions, Passion Week services will be celebrated and broadcast on various platforms, including the Washing of the Feet, the Way of the Cross, Holy Saturday and Easter Mass.

With this in mind, Card Ranjith has urged the faithful to watch the Mass that will be celebrated next Friday at the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka.

"We shall pray to the Blessed Mother to protect not only our country, but the whole world from the coronavirus,” he said.

To this end, the prelate urged the faithful to light a candle at 11 am “when Church bells start tolling”.

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