Rt. Rev. Joseph Eciru Oliach, the Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese has issued new guidelines for church ceremonies in the diocese.
Bishop Eciru, who has been at the helm of the Catholic faith in Soroti for three years now, has forbidden serving alcohol at all church-related functions within the diocese.
The Bishop has also banned the serving of meals or water to mourners before liturgy and burials.
“Serving meals contradicts the principle of liturgy and noble simplicity in the Catholic faith.” He said.
Bishop Eciru has been promoting the new guidelines during his recent pastoral visits across the diocese.
According to the bishop, no church leader in the diocese will lead a service where meals or water are served during the service. Linos Opio, the Serere district worker’s representative says the guidelines are timely for the church to reawaken from practices that have strayed them away.
He says that drinking alcohol has messed up church activities and thereby watered down the relevance of prayers at functions.
One of the Christians at Immaculate Conception in Soroti City, says that some of the practices like serving food to mourners before the liturgy and burial were adapted to help the bereaved families serve distant mourners and those who could have slept at home.
“Serving meals and water to mourners before burial is the only way to attend to those who could have traveled from far because after the burial, everybody wants to leave and the food might remain. You also notice that most people go for service providers and these fellows work with time. When food delays, the services provider levies extra costs”, he said.
Besides issuing the new guidelines, Bishop Eciru has also issued a new policy on time management for all church functions in the diocese. For instance, funeral services should be conducted within two hours and must be concluded before 3:00pm.