Catholic prelates in Metro Manila have suspended Holy Week activities set next month in response to the declaration of the government putting entire Luzon in an enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In Pastoral Statement of the Bishops of Metro Manila issued Monday, the heads of the archdiocese, dioceses, and Military Vicariate in the country have agreed to cancel the Holy Week activities such as Palm Sunday, Visita Iglesia, Siete Palabras, Good Friday procession and Easter Sunday 'salubong'.
“Since the dates for the Metro Manila Community Quarantine will coincide with the last three Sundays of Lent, and Holy Week, it would mean that the liturgical celebrations during this days, including Palm Sunday, the rest of the Holy Week and Easter Sunday will not be open to the public,” it said.
The faithful are encouraged to stay home and follow the said activities on television, radio, or online.
"The faithful are called upon to pray the Rosary as it is a good prayer to meditate on the mysteries of the life of the Lord that we intensely celebrate in the universal Church during the Holy Week,” it said.
The observance of Holy Week this year is from April 5, Palm Sunday, until April 12, Easter Sunday.
At the same time, clergy members and local government units (LGUs) are urged to give donations for the poor people and workers that are affected.
“The month-long community quarantine will affect the poor and the daily wage earners heavily. 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,” it added.
The prelates also reiterated their call for the churches to ring their bells at 12 noon and 8 p.m. to call the faithful to pray the Oratio Imperata together with the praying of the Angelus at noon and the family rosary in the evening.
“Our present situation is fluid. For the moment these are our common actions in our dioceses. Other developments and subsequent instructions may come in the future. Let us be vigilant. We offer to the Lord the difficulties and uncertainties that confront us in the spirit of Lent, which is the spirit of fervent prayer, penance, and generosity. We assured of Easter. Life will overcome death. This virus will pass us by,” the Church leaders added.
The statement was signed by Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco, Antipolo Bishop Francisco de Leon, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa, Apostolic Administrator of Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, Kalookan Pablo Virgilio David, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines Bishop Oscar Florencio, Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco and Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon effective Monday night.
Source: Philippines News Agency