As Nigeria begins to witness the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, various churches in the country have announced how they will conduct the crossover service.
The service, which is also known as watchnight, is conducted annually by churches on December 31 to mark the end of the year and usher in a new one.
On the last day of the year, millions of Christians storm churches to worship their Maker during the service which usually starts in the night and ends some minutes, and in some cases, about an hour into the new year.
However, it will not be the usual business this year as a result of the alarming increase in the figures of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria.
In a bid to address the issue, authorities in various states have announced stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the disease after an initial relaxation of the protocols.
The measures include crowd control to enforce social distancing, use of facemasks, and asking children and elderly people – who are believed to be more vulnerable to the disease – to stay at home.
On Monday, the Lagos chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) directed all churches in the state to end their crossover services on Thursday by 11 pm.
CAN Chairman in Lagos, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, had explained that the directive became necessary to allow the attendees get to their respective homes before 12am when the curfew imposed by the Federal Government would start.
Following the action of the state authorities and the directive by the Christian body, some churches have decided to modify how the crossover service will be conducted.
Mode Of Service
For some Christian religious centres, members will have to join the service virtually while others insist that members should be present at the auditorium.
Some of the churches that announced how the crossover service will hold include the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Daystar Christian Centre, Covenant Christian Centre, Christ Embassy, and the House on The Rock.
In a Facebook post, the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, wrote, “God has been so good to us. He has kept us despite the many hurdles of this year.
“It is time to crossover gallantly into 2021. Be a part of the crossover service and be empowered for the year 2021. Don’t miss it! God bless you!”
Pastor Adeboye’s post was accompanied by a flyer in which the church announced that the service would commence by 6pm on Friday.
No time to end the service was stated.
On its website, Daystar Christian Centre noted that the New Year’s Eve service would be conducted online between 7pm and 9pm.
For the Covenant Christian Centre, the Senior Pastor at the church, Pastor Poju Oyemade, revealed that the service would be conducted physically and virtually.
Oyemade, who is also the convener of The Platform Nigeria, tweeted, “To join us for our cross-over service (physical and onsite). Venue: The Covenant Place, Iganmu. 7.00pm to 9.00pm. A time of teaching praises and declarations.”
Elsewhere, authorities at Christ Embassy announced that the service tagged ‘New Year’s Eve Service With Pastor Chris’ would start by 9pm.
The House on The Rock also said it would hold a special crossover service at The Rock Cathedral in the Lekki area of Lagos.
While some other churches, which are not captured in this report, say they will conduct the crossover service under strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, others have decided to stream the service online.