Palma urges public to offer mass intentions for the dead ahead of Undas 2020
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the faithful to offer their mass intentions for departed loved ones ahead of the All Souls’ Day 2020.
This is in response to the closure of all cemeteries in the country from October 30 to November 3, 2020, by the Interagency Task Force (IATF) to avoid crowding amid the pandemic.
“Before the All Souls’ Day, the public can already offer mass intensions for that day,” said Palma.
Palma said the local government units (LGU) in the Archdiocese, especially Cebu City, which has the most cemeteries, have agreed to allow priests and acolytes to enter the cemeteries on November 2, 2020.
The priests will be holding scheduled masses that can be broadcasted online for the faithfuls to stream.
The priests would also perform religious blessings for the dead as traditional for the All Souls’ Day.
The prelate assured the government that the Church will follow the guidelines set to keep the public safe from the coronavirus.
This means that the Church will follow the limitations in church capacity during masses and will not defy the government’s policies.
“Pope Francis has been very clear on that, when it comes to government policies, follow that,” said the archbishop.
Palma’s statement is contrary to that of former Archbishop of Lipa Ramon Arguelles, who drew public criticism over his September 23, 2020, homily stating that the faithful don’t need to wear masks or face shields to fight the virus as God’s love is sufficient.
Although Palma did not directly contradict Arguelles’ statement, he said that for Cebu, the Archdiocese understands the importance of following the protocol set by the government.
This is why he urged the public to visit their dead loved ones on the days allowed by the government and to follow the guidelines for such visit.
Palma also urged the faithful to pray for the pandemic to end and actively cooperate to prevent the spread of the virus.
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