The Catholic Bishop of Lafia Diocese, Dr Mathew Ishaya-Audu, says the diocese has cancelled offertory collection during funerals of members of the church across the state.
Ishaya-Audu made this known in an interview during the funeral Mass of the late Catechist, James Kubai of St. James Catholic Mission, Keffi.
The bishop explained that the church took the decision because it considered prayers for the bereaved family more important than collection of offering during burial masses.
“If you observed during the late Kubai’s funeral Mass, I stopped the offertory collection not because we don’t want assistance from the people, but when someone dies, it is a moment of grief.
“What we need from the faithful and other people most when someone dies is to pray fervently for the repose of the soul of the deceased and God blessings, guidance, protection for the family.
“If anybody wants to help the bereaved family or the church, such help should come after the burial or funeral Mass.
“And such person’s will receive abundant blessings from God for donating generously to God’s work and for humanity,’’ he said.
Ishaya-Audu pleaded with other faithful who came from far and near to sympathise with the family and catholic community during the funeral Mass to see the stoppage of the offertory collection as a positive decision.
According to him, Christians and other Nigerians should live a life worthy of emulation as there is life after death for those who believe in Jesus Christ.
“When someone dies, it is telling us or those that are yet to prepare to get prepared, repent and change our lives for good in order to inherit the kingdom of God because death is inevitable.
“Nobody has the power to question God about death.’’
He said Kubai’s death was not only a great loss to his family, the catholic community or the state in particular but to Nigeria at large.
This, the bishop said, was because of the positive role Kubai played in effecting positive change on people during his lifetime.
He urged Nigerians to live in peace and tolerate one another irrespective of ethnic, religion and political affiliation for the overall development of the country.