Archdiocese of Cebu yet to finalize guidelines for Misa de Gallo
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Cebu is yet to finalize the guidelines for the conduct of the Dawn Masses or Misa de Gallo in Cebu City ten days prior to the first of nine masses on December 16, 2020.
Reverend Father Japeth Geonzon, the vice-chairman of the Committee on Worship of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said that Archbishop Jose Palma is waiting for the Executive Order of Mayor Edgardo Labella for the conduct of the Misa de Gallo.
However, the archdiocese is already in contact with the city government to discuss the possible changes in the conduct of the Dawn Masses to ensure the safety of the parishioners and the implementation of health protocols.
Geonzon said one of the suggestions of the archdiocese is to hold Simbang Gabi masses at night to divide the usual Misa de Gallo crowd.
The reverend explained that a Misa De Gallo is a novena mass in honor of the Our Lady of the Belen every dawn from December 16 to December 24, the eve of Christmas, with a different liturgical reading than the normal gospel of the day.
The priest wears white vestiges and the Gloria hymn is sung during the Misa de Gallo.
Whereas, the Simbang Gabi is a typical liturgical celebration using the gospel of the day where the priest wears violet vestiges and celebrates the mass according to the advent traditions.
The Simbang Gabi is not generally celebrated in Cebu save for certain parishes and is not usually a substitute for attending the Misa de Gallo.
However, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), recently said that in this time of the pandemic, the faithful are encouraged either to attend only one mass on those days either the Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo, or attend both masses through online platforms.
The request of the Archdiocese of Cebu would be to hold two Simbang Gabi masses from December 15 to December 23, 2020, and two Misa de Gallos from December 16 to December 23, 2020.
This way, the crowd that usually attends the singular Misa de Gallo pre-pandemic will be distributed among these four masses allowing the parishes and the barangays to have better control of the crowd.
“Mao lang pud na among suggestions sa Archdiocese ngadto sa atong kauluhan sa gobyerno nga kung pwede duha. But we heard nga ang gusto ni Mayor Labella kay usa lang daw. We just hope for their consideration,” said Geonzon.
The archdiocese will also be considering the request of the mayor to hold all Misa de Gallos in the city on the same hour simultaneously in all parishes.
Certain parishes have requests as well including the use of the parking lots as additional space for the faithful to attend the mass at. The parking lots would also offer an open-air space, which is a safeguard against the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral will be putting up LED screens outside the main cathedral so that people staying outside can view the mass.
It is an option Geonzon hopes the parishes with bigger outer spaces to consider, although it will not be required as putting up LED displays may cost more than some parishes can afford.
Still, Geonzon hopes the parishes will be creative in delivering the Misa de Gallo to the parishioners because the faithful are more eager to be closer to God in this time of the pandemic.
The Archdiocese of Cebu will be announcing the guidelines as soon as these have been finalized, Geonzon said. /rcg
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