Archdiocese of Cebu amends liturgical guidelines amid COVID-19 threat
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Cebu has issued an amendment of its earlier issued liturgical protocols amid the continuing threat posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
On Monday, June 22, 2020, Archbishop Jose Palma issued Circular no. 1320, a week after the national government has reverted Cebu City back under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Among the changes of the new set of protocols from the first set of guidelines issued last May 25 is the suspension anew on the conduct of one of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church–the anointing of the sick.
“Although our document has allowed the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in areas under the general community quarantine, but still always mindful of undertaking the precautionary measures, the anointing of the sick will be suspended again until further notice due to the continuing threat posed by COVID-19,” the Circular reads.
In the Circular, Archbishop Jose Palma said they have already drafted a Prayer for the Sick, which may instead be used. The prayer may also be lead by any member of the family of the sick individual.
For funeral masses, since COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 deaths are mandated to be immediately cremated or buried within 12 hours, the Archdiocese said a mass for the dead may still be held in sine corpus, or without the body.
The Archdiocese also reiterates the continued suspension of wake masses in homes and barrio or funeral chapels as it may be difficult to control the number of persons who will attend the Masses.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese said it will allow the conduct of motorcades, especially during celebration of fiestas in areas under GCQ. However, the Church has reminded that the parishes should still first seek permission from their local government unit before conducting the motorcade.
“We now allow processions since these are moving in a faster pace but before these can be done, there has to be proper coordination and permission from your respective local governments,” the Circular reads.
While motorcades are allowed, the Church, however, maintained that processions and chapel masses on fiestas are still prohibited. /bmjo
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