Mass will be celebrated in Catholic Cathedrals on Sunday but 17 year old children down to newborn babies are to stay home.
The Catholic Church decision is in keeping with the official order decreed under the national state of emergency that is currently in place in the whole of Samoa.
The Chancellor of the Catholic Church, Father Eteuati Vui, assured the support of the church to the state of emergency and have directed all the parishes in Upolu and Savaii to take note.
“All programme activities that involves children in that age group are cancelled as Sunday Schools, processions and even the 8 Days of Christmas that we have every year,” Father Vui said.
“Sunday Masses will continue to be celebrated because we have dedicated the whole of this month to prayers for the children who have died and the ones affected by the epidemic.
Father Vui added that the prayer session is to ask God for His continuous protection and healing on the people.
Catholics are being called upon to stand together to lift the country and people in prayer with the death toll from the epidemic now up to 16.
Father Vui, also referred to a warning sent out to all the church members to get vaccinated and to abide by the conditions in place under the state of emergency.
“We informed our members to make sure they are vaccinated.
“We’ve also told the parents that maybe one of the adults can stay behind with the children and do their own prayers at home while the rest of the family come to church.”
Father Vui, sympathised with the children who have died do so far and that they are too many, we all should mourn them.
“No parent wants to bury their children especially at that young age and that is why the church has decided to cease all it programs as well stopping young children from attending Sunday mass.
“We don’t want to see another innocent child gone because of this epidemic and that is why we all have to work together to ensure our children will not be affected.”