Palma: Despite COVID-19, it is still a Happy Easter

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 11,2020 - 08:39 PM
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma says it is still a happy Easter because the people's faith remains despite not being physically in Church to attend the Holy Week activities because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines. | Gerard Francisco

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma says it is still a happy Easter because the people’s faith remains despite not being physically in Church to attend the Holy Week activities because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). | Gerard Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The churches are empty but with the living Church is actively participating in their homes, Easter is still worth celebrating. 

This was the statement of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who presided over the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Easter eve, April 11, 2020. 

Watch: Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma celebrates the Easter Vigil Mass

The Easter Vigil is the most important celebration in the Catholic Church as it celebrates the Resurrection of the Lord.

The Mass was attended by the Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, and Presidential Assistant to the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino. 

It served as the political leader’s petition for the end of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country that had caused social and economic consequences.

Palma said the pandemic had caused despair to many during these times, yet the faith of the people had remained strong. 

This faith that radiates in millions of Filipinos who tune in to the Eucharistic celebrations and other Church activities during the Holy Week is the real celebration of Easter even if the church buildings are empty. 

“Do we have a reason to greet a Happy Easter? Look at the Cathedral, it is empty. Churches are empty. Mga kaigsuonan, if we greet each other Happy Easter after this Mass, it is not so much the churches are empty, but because the tomb is empty. 

“Where they put Jesus is empty. Death could not contain the Lord. Jesus is risen from the dead. It is good reason enough to greet each other, a Happy Easter,” said the prelate. 

Read more: At Via Crucis, Pope Francis prays for those serving the suffering

The archbishop also paid tribute to the medical workers, government workers, police, military, other law enforment agencies, and employees who were still going to work to ensure that the needs of the public would be met. 

Read more: The frontliners’ prayers for Good Friday

“Kaninyong tanan, daghang salamat. (To all of you, thank you),” said Palma. 

Palma also assured the government officials that the Roman Catholic Church would obey all imposed measures against the COVID-19. 

Although there is a separation of Church and state, the Catholic Church supports the government’s efforts to control the virus. 

“The Catholic Church will obey 100 percent,” said the archbishop. 

The Easter Vigil Mass of the Cathedral was the sole congregational celebration done by the archdiocese. 

Strict social distancing was observed during the Mass and only limited people were allowed during the Mass./dbs

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TAGS: Easter, Easter Vigil Mass, frontliners, Palma

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