MANILA – Some Catholic churches in Manila have decided to switch to online mass streaming only, suspending public attendance amid the increasing number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the nation’s capital.
Starting Monday, the following churches temporarily suspended holding of public masses in compliance with the national government’s newly issued protocols on physical distancing:
—The Manila Cathedral
—Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
—Santo Niño de Tondo Parish
—Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish
—San Sebastian Church
—San Agustin Church in Intramuros
Instead, the faithful may virtually participate and attend the masses inside their homes.
As stated under Resolution No. 104 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, “all mass gatherings including religious gatherings shall be prohibited” until April 4, 2021.
The National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna are under General Community Quarantine with additional restrictions.
Charlie Duñgo, Director of the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Arts of Manila, said it saddens them that for the second year, Lenten activities that have become part of the Filipino culture will not be celebrated the way these used to be.
“Nakakalungkot na pangalawang taon na ito na hindi natin magagawa ang ating mga nakasanayan na tradisyon tuwing sasapit ang Mahal na Araw (It is sad that this is the second year that we will not be able to do what we have been doing for years now, the traditions every Holy Week),” Dungo said in an interview.
He also thanked the leaders of the Archdiocese of Manila, led by apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, for immediately acting on the resolution issued by the national government.
Among the traditional activities observed during the Holy Week are the ‘Pabasa’, Way of the Cross, the ‘Visita Iglesia’, the Black Friday procession when some individuals perform self-flagellation up to the point of being nailed on the cross, and the ‘Salubong’ on Easter Sunday.
Manila still has 2,933 active cases as of Monday morning. (PNA)