Archdiocese of Cebu awaits Cebu City’s final decision on Nov. 1 and 2
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Cebu awaits the final decision for the opening or closing of cemeteries on All Souls’ and Saint’s Day on November 1 and 2, 2021, as the Church will follow the directives of the local government unit.
Monsignor Joseph Tan, the spokesperson of the archdiocese, said that the Church, especially the parishes, is always compliant with the regulations and guidelines of the respective local government units (LGUs).
Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama has already said the city will keep cemeteries open on November 1 and 2 for vaccinated individuals only, despite the pronouncement of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) that all cemeteries will be closed from October 29 to November 1, 2021.
The Cebu City Catholic parishes have yet to announce the closure of the cemeteries on the two feast dates because they are waiting for the LGU to make the final decisions over them.
“Nag-agad pa ta sa final decision sa LGU nga gikuyugan sa IATF. Until such time nga makedesisyon sila, as early as now mas maayo kon mobisita na ta sa mga sam-ang,” said Tan.
The parishes have been instructed to follow the recently released guidelines of the city government especially on allowing only vaccinated individuals on November 1 and 2, 2021.
However, if the city government decides to close the cemeteries, the parishes will immediately follow.
The Archdiocese mulls seeking permission that priests be allowed to enter the cemeteries to bless the dead and hold an online mass instead.
This was done in 2020 where priests with a few lay ministers and altar servers were allowed to hold mass inside the cemeteries broadcasting this online.
Tan said that should the cemeteries in Cebu City indeed close, then the parishes will be instructed to do the alternative.
The prelate said for now, some parishes are formulating a system on how to ensure a smooth queue at the entrances ensuring that the maximum capacity will be followed at any given time of the day.
Some parishes will be giving out numbers to every individual who will enter the cemetery upon checking or even temporarily surrendering their vaccination cards so that the number of individuals will be strictly monitored.
This method would also ensure that the visitors will stick to the one hour or 30 minutes allotted time for each graveyard.
Tan urged the public to visit their dead loved ones earlier instead of flocking on November 1 and 2 as the Catholic Church does not require the actual visits to the grave as an obligation for the celebration of All Souls’ Day.
In fact, according to Church teachings, the best way to celebrate All Saints’ and Souls’ Day is to pray and hear mass if they can.
“Ang labing importante sa mga mahal nato sa kinabuhi nga nipahulay na mao ang pag-apil nila sa atong mga pag-ampo whether personal prayers, other forms of devotion, rosaryo, novena, or ato silang iapil og halad sa santos nga mis, kini ang mas mahuluganon para sa kaluwasan sa kalag suma sa tinulunan nato sa simbahang Katoliko.”
“Kanang uban, kanang pagdalag buwak og kandila, mga pakapin nalang na, timailhan sa paghigugma. The charity that we need to excercise sa mga patay kay ang pag-apil nila dinha sa atong pag-ampo,” said Tan.
The Archdiocese of Cebu appeals to the faithful to prioritize health and safety during the Kalag-Kalag celebrations. /rcg
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