NOTE: This article was originally published on April 09, 2020 under the headline “Steps to follow at home when religious services are suspended“
As many cities open up and loosen their restrictions especially to non-essential workers and activities, it is quite common for a Cebuano faithful to question whether he/she should “attend a Mass?”
All the more, every third Sunday of January, Cebuanos celebrate the “Fiesta Senyor,” where throngs of devotees of the Child Jesus flock the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu grounds, carrying with them their intentions and prayers as they sing “Bato Balani sa Gugma” in unison.
For every devotee, or even for the Cebuano community, completing the 9-day Novena Mass is deeply rooted in tradition, and allows us to reflect on our intentions.
Although attending the Novena Mass along with devotees has a religious connection, we simply can’t take out of the picture the fact that a virus is still out there. Leaving the house may still be a risk and restrictions on how many people can attend the Mass means you might take a seat from someone if you opt to go to Mass. So it is worth taking this question seriously.
In order to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), devotees may celebrate at home through a live-streaming of the Novena Masses and other religious activities related to the “Fiesta Senyor.”
In this article, CDN Digital compiled some tips to ensure that you can keep your celebration of the “Fiesta Senyor” holy and how to pray from home.
Create a Sacred Space
Like attending a Mass at church, it is best that you eliminate distractions at home when you attend the Novena Mass.
If you are watching with your whole family, you can rearrange your living room or dedicate a space at home where you can set out a crucifix or an alter with a lighted candle, and an image of the Sto. Niño.
Prepare and Participate Actively
When you are attending an online Mass, make sure you dress appropriately like you would when you attend the Novena Mass at church.
Say the prayers and responses of the Mass out loud, participate just as you would when attending a Mass; stand, kneel and sit at the right time.
And always remember to put your phones and gadgets on silent so all your attention will be on the Mass.
Make a spiritual communion
Instead of receiving Holy Communion, make an act of spiritual communion such as this one composed by the 18th-century saint, St. Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Reflect on the Gospel
Once the Novena Mass is completed, spend a few moments in silence trying to recall something from the gospel readings, meditate on something from the gospel that you can take with you, and share with others.
These are only suggestions on what you should do if you can’t attend Mass. If you have more suggestion in mind, let us know on the comment section.
Tune in to Cebu Daily News’ simultaneous live broadcast with the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño on these times.
Tomorrow, January 8, is the first day of the nine-day Novena Masses of the 456th Fiesta Señor. Find the schedules of the…
Viva Pit Senyor!