By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Imee Marcos has rallied the Filipino Catholic community to maintain the same level of religious dedication and hope despite the Covid-19 pandemic attempting to spoil the traditional observance of Holy Week for a second year.
“Not even this pandemic can take away our Filipino traditions of faith – Pasyong Mahal, procession and the Senakulo, Bisita Iglesia, Via Crucis, The Seven Last Words, and Easter Mass. We will simply worship at home, or online, or wherever we can be alone and quiet with the Lord,” Marcos said.
Marcos issued the statement as the government decided to impose four types of lockdown throughout the country – enhanced or general community quarantine (ECQ or GCQ) or modified versions of these (MECQ, MGCQ) – based on a given area’s infection rate.
The Filipino faithful have been left asking if general restrictions on masses and other religious activities applied where quarantine levels were different, Marcos said.
“Religious services should be considered essential services too, but the need to reduce viral transmission has put our famished souls on a strict diet,” Marcos quipped.
“In this time of great uncertainty, religious fervor cannot be suppressed. The pandemic has shown the helplessness of even the world’s most powerful governments, and we can only lift up our fears and our hopes to a higher power,” she added.
Marcos noted that group singing during masses can now be done on open mike via Zoom, allowing active participation among devout Catholics cloistered at home.
“Let us also remember that alms-giving is too a pillar of our Holy Week activity. For those with much to give, let us give with all our heart. And for those with less, may we learn to share more,” Marcos said.
Marcos added that the spontaneous practice of offering food packs and free transport to health workers and other front-liners, seen during the start of the pandemic last year must carry on with the same resolve.
“Let’s maintain that level of generosity and volunteerism. May we not suffer from donor fatigue,” Marcos urged.
One relevant act of kindness that penitents can perform is to help senior citizens register for vaccination or to escort them to vaccination centers that will remain open during the Holy Week, Marcos also said.
“Help senior citizens who may be intimidated by having to register online or who may need an arm to cling to on the way to the vaccination center. You might double the kindness by checking their voter registration for next year’s crucial elections too,” she added. (AI/MTVN)