The Diocese of Dumaguete has lined up activities for the observance of Holy Week with liturgical rites to be carried out this week in a safe and practical manner in accordance with national government guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
On Tuesday, Bishop Julito Cortes presided over the concelebrated Chrism mass for the blessing of holy oils and the renewal of priestly vows of some 80 to 100 priests from the diocese, religious congregations, and other dioceses, at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria here.
Forgoing the usual “kiss of peace” between the priests and their bishop, the priests just bowed in front of the prelate as part of safe, physical distancing measures.
Cortes said that many of the activities during the week starting Palm Sunday (March 28) through Easter Sunday (April 4) will allow the Catholic lay faithful to participate, whether physically or via radio, television, and/or live streaming.
He reiterated that adherence to the basic safety and health protocols is a must as parishes have been asked to limit the audience in church activities.
While many devotees want to participate physically in the church activities in observance of the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the bigger concern here is that the Covid-19 threat is still far from over, he said.
Some of the activities that usually drew large crowds before the global pandemic, such as The Way of The Cross (Via Crucis) and the Santo Entierro (Holy Burial) Procession, have been changed, he said.
The Via Crucis will be held inside the Cathedral rather than around the streets while the procession of the Santo Entierro and the Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowful Mother) images on a “carozza” will be in a motorcade instead and will be going around major routes here and also at the parish levels, he added.
The prelate also explained that whether one is physically present in these activities or attending them via broadcast and live streaming, “it is the same grace from God that we receive”.
Source: Philippines News Agency