CBCP issues guidelines for liturgical celebrations

By: Tina G. Santos - Philippine Daily Inquirer May 18,2020 - 07:35 AM

DISTANCING Residents attend Mass at Santa Rita de Cascia Parish in Baclaran, Parañaque City. The local government on Sunday allowed church services to resume, but still in line with COVID-19 response rules, including physical distancing and wearing of face masks. | MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino Catholic bishops have issued guidelines for liturgical celebrations under the “new normal” condition.

Davao Archbishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Romulo Valles said the Holy Eucharist “is central and essential to the life of the Church and to the life of each individual believer.”

However, the CBCP proposed that the elderly and the sick, the young and children stay at home, saying that they be dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass during this time when the vaccine is not yet available and the threat of the virus is still widespread.

“As circumstances allow, a visit from a priest, a deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to bring them the Eucharist is highly recommended,” the CBCP said.

The bishops also suggested the continuous use of social media to livestream or televise Masses, especially for the vulnerable sector who would not be able to go to church.

The faithful attending the Mass should all wear masks, with the pews marked to indicate where they could sit and to help them strictly observe social distancing.

The CBCP also recommended the holding of anticipated Masses beginning any time after 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

“A faithful who attends any Mass after midday of Saturday shall be in fulfillment of Sunday obligation. All evening Masses from Wednesday to Friday, using Sunday liturgy, may be deemed anticipated Sunday Mass satisfying the Sunday obligation therefore,” it said.

Specific entrances and exits of the church should be planned and well indicated to help maintain social distancing. The body temperature of those entering the church will be taken using a thermal body scan, and church entrances and exits should have a foot bath container, as well as hand sanitizers.

The CBCP said ushers and collectors would guide the assembly where to sit, when to come to the communion line, and when and where to enter and exit the church.

The offertory procession should also be omitted.

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TAGS: CBCP, COVID-19, Liturgical celebrations, new normal, valles

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