GUAGUA -- Several parishes in Pampanga cancelled their Mass services starting March 14 in bid to protect their parishioners from the spread of the deadly coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).
In Pampanga’s Vicariate of Saint Joseph, were the first patient of the COVID 19 infection is located, big parishes cancelled mass services until further notice.
The Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish, which covers much of the main nucleus of Porac town were the first case resided, cancelled Mass services until March 20.
Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Guagua town, one of the biggest parishes and with most number of Sunday masses in the Vicariate of Saint Joseph, cancelled Mass services until March 28.
The Saint Rafael the Archangel Parish in Mabalacat City also cancelled Mass starting last Sunday until further notice.
Despite of the significant number of Mass cancellations, several Parishes still proceeded with their regular mass schedules last Sunday.
Reports reaching Sun.Star Pampanga said that there was relatively few turn out of parishioners in parishes that did not cancel Mass services.
Parishes which did not cancel Mass services observed varying degrees of precautionary measures like providing disinfectants, cautioning parishioners from holding hands and providing only communion by the hands,
Most para-liturgical events for Holy Week like processions and Visita Iglesia have also been cancelled in a majority of parishes.
Local church officials said that the uncoordinated mass cancelations were the lack of a clear directive from the Archdiocese of San Fernando.
Most of the parishes made their decisions based on the circular issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
The circular gave local ordinaries (Bishops) the prerogative to issue local directives in response to the spread of COVID 19.