Palma celebrates Easter Sunday Mass before empty Cathedral pews; thanks Cebuanos for following him online

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 12,2020 - 10:54 AM
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma | CDN Photo Gerard Vincent Francisco

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma | CDND Photo /Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines -Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma officiated the Easter Sunday Mass in front of empty pews at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral this morning, April 12, 2020.

But the prelate said he is grateful to the thousands of Cebuanos who joined in the eucharistic celebration that was aired live on the Cathedral’s social media page and in partner radio stations.

“The churches may be empty but I know that, as you follow us, you worship with us. This too is a reason to thank God and to say Happy Easter,” Palma said in his homily.

Palma concelebrated the early morning Mass with nine priests.

Easter Sunday marks the end of the Lenten season and Holy Week celebration in the liturgical calendar of Roman Catholics. The event also marks the day that Jesus Christ has resurrected.

However, this was the first time in recent history that the Archdiocese of Cebu prohibited devotees from gathering in churches because of the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Instead, Masses were aired live through the Cathedral’s official Facebook page and in partner media outlets.  The Cathedral’s Easter Sunday Mass generated 144, 000 views.

Parishes in Cebu also canceled the annual reenactment of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and His meeting with Mary locally known as “Sugat.”

In his homily, Palma encouraged all faithful to continue to celebrate Christ’s resurrection even while confined in their homes.

You give time and you as a family as a community worship God and we know this is a reason to be happy,” Palma said.

But if there’s one thing that faith dictates us, and this is our conviction that COVID will end…We know there is not only survival but also revival,” he added.

The prelate also asked devotees to include in their prayers and thoughts those who remain working at the frontlines battling the pandemic which has already infected almost 1.8 million people around the world.

He also commended the public’s cooperation with local government officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here.

(While there is) the strict separation of church and state but we’re at most happy with the strong collaboration, coordination, and cooperation in times like these,” Palma said. / dcb

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TAGS: Cebu Archbihsop Jose Palma, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Easter Sunday Mass, empty Cathedral pews, Holy Week 2020

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