Novena Masses for 2022 Fiesta Señor will go online again

By: Morexette Marie Erram - CDN Digital | November 04,2021 - 12:51 PM
Fiesta Señor

The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu. CDN Digital photo | Morexette Marie B. Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Once again, celebrations for the upcoming Fiesta Señor will be held virtually.

The Cebu City Government and Augustinian friars from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu on Thursday, November 4, 2021, said that they will be reinstating most arrangements and protocols of the 2021 Fiesta Señor for next year. 

This meant that there will be no Novena Masses to be held physically in the Basilica compound and instead, they will be livestreamed through the church’s official social media handles. 

The Basilica has already scheduled to broadcast 10 online Novena Masses per day for the 457th Fiesta Señor, both in English and Cebuano. 

However, church officials, in a press conference on Thursday, said that the church compound – except the centuries-old Basilica church itself – will remain open to those who wish to pray and venerate the Holy Child, from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“With this decision, we appeal for understanding of all Cebuanos and devotees of Snr. Sto. Niño de Cebu as we take all precautionary measures to protect the health of all. It is our moral and Christian obligation to protect one another against COVID-19,” said Fr. Nelson Zerda, rector of the Basilica. 

There will also be no external activities such as the Fluvial Procession, Penitential Walk of Jesus and the Solemn Foot Procession. 

Instead, the church and the city government agreed in redoing the motorcades for Snr. Sto. Niño around Metro Cebu. 

Meanwhile, the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Committee on Public Safety and Order welcomed the Basilica’s decision to keep next year’s Fiesta Señor celebration at a limited capacity. 

Councilor Joel Garganera, who was also present during Thursday’s press conference, said low COVID-19 immunization coverage rate in the entire island of Cebu is one of the primary reasons why they agreed on reimposing restrictions for the Fiesta Señor. 

“Things may be different. Last year, we don’t have the vaccinations yet. But now, naa na atong bakuna pero layo pa sa tinuud sa atong target of 70 percent (of the population should be vaccinated),” explained Garganera. 

“We don’t want to waste the gain that we earned in the past months and those were turbulent months with the virus. We’re very glad of the statement of the friars in putting health and safety in celebrating the fiesta,” he added. 

Fiesta Señor is the annual religious celebration in honor of Snr. Sto. Niño. In the pre-pandemic era, it usually draws thousands of devotees and visitors from all over the Philippines and other countries. 

The Sinulog Festival is its secular celebration. 

/bmjo

Read more: Security preparations for Fiesta Señor 2022 starts

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TAGS: Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, Fiesta Señor 2022, Novena Masses

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