Cebuanos told: Create palm fronds for Palm Sunday amid COVID-19 threats

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 04,2020 - 09:02 PM
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma leads a procession at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral while a priest blesses the palm fronds of the faithful at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. In Manila, Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle blesses the palm fronds of the faithful at the Manila Cathedral.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma leads a procession at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral during last year’s Palm Sunday celebration./CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Devotees in Cebu are encouraged to create their own palm fronds in celebration of Palm Sunday this April 5, 2020.

With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in place for the entire island of Cebu, most residents are mandated to stay inside their homes unless ‘essential trips’ compel them to go out.

Monsignor Ruben Labajo, the vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Cebu, advised faithful instead to produce their own palm fronds or lukay in Cebuano.

“It has been the practice to bring palm fronds or lukay at home since these are blessings themselves,” Labajo told CDN Digital in a phone interview in a mix of Cebuano and English.

“But with the mandatory home quarantine, we are encouraging everyone to create their own fronds from whatever leaves, and adorn them on their walls or windows,” he added.

For the first time in recent history, the Archdiocese of Cebu will be livestreaming their Palm Sunday Mass this April 5, 2020, at 8 a.m due to ECQ being implemented in all parts of Cebu.

ECQ is one of the measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Palm Sunday, in the liturgical calendar, marks the start of Holy Week. It is also the last Sunday of Lent.

In Roman Catholicism, fronds used during Palm Sunday Masses are not discarded, and will be burnt. Their ashes, in turn, are to be used for the observance of Ash Wednesday in the next year.

Labajo also reminded the public not to forget venerating even if present rules don’t allow them to physically go to their nearby churches.

“Just because we’re at home, and we cannot literally go to church does not mean we can’t do anything to show our faith. Let us not forget that with fervent prayers, surely, we can overcome everything,” said Labajo in Cebuano./dbs

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TAGS: Archdiocese of Cebu, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, COVID-19, Monsignor Ruben Labajo, Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday Mass

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