Archdiocese of Cebu modifies, suspends Lenten activities
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma encourages parishes to livestream activities and Eucharistic celebrations
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Only parish priests and their respective ministers in Cebu will be allowed to conduct activities and celebrations for the Lenten season.
This as the Archdiocese of Cebu issued a new set of circulars on March 25, 2020 that effectively modifies and suspends some events in the liturgical calendar.
“The celebrations of the Eucharist and the liturgy with a large number of the congregation during Holy Week are suspended,” the circular, signed by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, stated.
“This means that the Holy Week celebrations are observed Missa Sine Populo or Mass in the absence of the congregation and celebrated only by the Priest/s together with a few ministers,” it added.
It ordered that every Priest must be assisted by 16 other ministers only, composed of eight altar servers, two lectors, one Cantor of the Psalm, and five ministers of the Music Ministry.
These measures were in line with the guidelines set by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to prevent transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
As a result, Palma encouraged all parishes to livestream their activities and Eucharistic celebrations to connect with the faithful.
“The importance of the domestic or family church stands out during these trying and unusual times,” Palma said.
He also urged the public “to continue to find strength, solace, and encouragement in the practice of their faith during Holy Week.”
The archdiocese here suspended several activities in line with the upcoming Holy Week such as devotional processions including Via Crucis on Fridays of Lent, Pasos either on Holy Tuesday or Holy Wednesday, Visita Iglesia on Holy Thursday, Santo Entierro and La Soledad procession on Good Friday.
Public vigils are not allowed, too, which prompted them to do away with the altar of repose and the Evangeliary (Book of the Gospels).
The Chrism Mass, scheduled this March 31, 2020, was postponed to a later date, which has yet to be determined.
The Archdiocese of Cebu also disallowed the conduct of Sugat or reenactment of the meeting of the Risen Jesus Christ and Mother Mary, and the 3 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday. /bmjo
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