Churchgoers told: Vow, instead of touching, kissing cross

CHURCHGOERS are requested to genuflect or make a profound bow for veneration on Good Friday, instead of kissing and touching the cross to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

According to a memo from Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma issued on Wednesday, February 26, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has released some health precautions in the observance of the Lenten season.

Said precautions include: discourage the kissing of the hand of priests; stop for now the practice of using the holy water when people sign themselves with the cross as they enter and leave the church; for collecta during mass, use containers attached to poles instead of bags or baskets being passed around; and confessions are heard with the screen and veil between the confessor and the penitent.

The Lenten season began with the Ash Wednesday, during which the ashes were sprinkled on the crown of the head instead of marking the forehead with a cross so as to avoid body contact.

The Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday are set to be observed this year on April 9 to 12.

Last month, the CBCP suggested the communion in the hand be practiced ordinarily and discouraged churchgoers from holding hands when they pray "Our Father" during mass.


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