Monday, 16 March 2020 16:20

NCR Churches suspend Masses and Holy Week Activities amidst NCOV-19 Outbreak


The Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila announced in their Pastoral Statement the suspension of all Masses including Holy Week activities in response to the community quarantine implemented by the government.

The Ecclesiastical Province of Manila is composed of Diocese of Cubao, Diocese of Novaliches, Diocese of Kalookan, Diocese of Pasig, Diocese of Parañaque, Diocese of Antipolo, Diocese of Imus, Diocese of San Pablo, Diocese of Malolos, and Archdiocese of Manila.

 Palm Sunday celebration in 2019 l Photo File by RCAM-AOC


Following the directives of the government since the declaration of Community Quarantine to National Capital Region effective March 15, 2020, the Metropolitan Bishops of Manila declared that the suspension of Holy Mass will be extended until April 14 and Holy Week liturgical Celebrations will be held privately in order not to attract a huge amount of crowd as a safety precaution for COVID-19.

“We should continue to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Liturgical celebration even in the absence of a congregation,” the bishops said in the statement.

Baptisms, Confirmation, and Weddings scheduled within the dates of the quarantine period will push through and “cannot be postponed due to the enormity of preparations involved” but are “subject to severe restrictions as to the number of participants and attendees, and proper social distancing should be observed.”

Holy Week activities like blessing of the palms, Visita Iglesia, Siete Palabras, Good Friday procession and Easter Salubong are also cancelled. The bishops encouraged the faithful to just stay at home and participate in spiritual activities like the Mass, recollections and bible studies through television, radio, and live streaming online.

The Bishops advised the faithful to spend time in prayer, particularly the Holy Rosary, to reflect on the mysteries on the life of Christ.

On the Fridays of Lent (March 20, March 27, April 3), the faithful are encouraged to spend the day for prayer, penance, abstinence and fasting most especially on Good Friday (April 10).

They also appealed to the parishes and religious institutions to assist people when they lack basic necessities, by giving donations to help the needy and the sick. 

"Let our parishes and church institutions, in close coordination with their local government units (LGUs), be creative in going out of their way to help the people in their basic needs. We appeal for donations to help the poor and the sick," they bishops said in the statement. (Hazel Boquiren/SOCOM-San Juan Nepomuceno and Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC) 

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