Seoul Archdiocese suspends public Masses amid Covid-19 crisis

Church launches video campaign so that priests can hold Mass without the physical presence of the faithful
Seoul Archdiocese suspends public Masses amid Covid-19 crisis

A Daily TV Mass celebrated by Cardinal Andrew Yeom at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul. (Photo: Seoul Archdiocese)

The Archdiocese of Seoul has announced it is suspending all public Masses — the first such decision in the archdiocese’s 189-year history. The move is in compliance with the South Korean government's social distancing policy to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

“A decision on when public Masses will resume will be made in coordination with national and local Covid-19 mitigation measures,” said Father Matthias Hur Young-yup, the archdiocese's spokesman and director of its office for social communications.

“As the faithful, we should prepare ourselves to fully experience the joy of Christ's Resurrection by overcoming this crisis wisely through our prayers and acts of love, instead of being overwhelmed by vague anxiety and fear,” said Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul.

“Let us humbly ask for the special grace of God for our people, our neighbors suffering from Covid-19 around the world, and those who have passed away, and also pray for the intercession of Our Lady.” 

Cardinal Yeom asked priests to encourage the faithful to go through Lent with devotion by reading daily Scripture readings, saying the Rosary and Spiritual Communion prayers as well as watching the Daily TV Mass provided by the Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC).

The Daily TV Mass, which is featured on CPBC’s TV, radio and YouTube platforms, has seen a steep surge in viewer ratings since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The archdiocese’s committee for communications has launched a video campaign called "The Lord is with You," through which priests can communicate with church members and hold Mass without the physical presence of the faithful.

This campaign continues with the participation of many bishops and priests, including Cardinal Yeom, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk and Bishop Benedictus Son. Videos featuring the priests appear on Good News online and the CPBC’s YouTube platform.

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