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Hong Kong, Singapore church activities curtailed due to SARS

Catholic Church services during Holy Week in Hong Kong will be curtailed as an increasing number of people are infected with a deadly pneumonia virus.

To curb the spread of the disease, called severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the Hong Kong Diocese has suggested that the foot-washing rite during the Holy Thursday liturgy be suspended, Fr Thomas Law Kwok-fai said.

Fr Law, who heads the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, said the diocese also suggested that there be no baptism by immersion during the Easter Vigil on 19 April.

However, a decision on canceling the Palm Sunday procession April 13 had not yet been made, he added. In Singapore, where four people have died of the syndrome, Archbishop Nicholas Chia ordered the suspension of catechism classes and children's liturgy programs, as well as holding hands while praying the Our Father during Mass.

The Singapore Archdiocese also suggested cancelling baptism by immersion during the Easter Vigil.

Catholic News Service

Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong | Pastoral guidelines for the prevention of the spread of "atypical pneumonia" | Seminar on the Pastoral Guidelines for the Prevention of the Spread of Atypical Pneumonia
Archdiocese of Singapore | Message from His Grace regarding the SARS outbreak
Diocese urges sick to stay away from Mass (27/3/03)

Killer flu halts pastoral visits to Hong Kong hospitals (18/3/03)

4 Apr 2003