THE Archdiocese of Cebu is contemplating encouraging parishes to hold two dawn masses, or Misa de Gallo, as a precaution against mass gatherings.
Fr. Japheth Geonzon, vice chairman of the Commission on Worship, said they floated the idea after Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella announced that he would only allow churches to hold Misa de Gallo in the lead-up to Christmas Day.
“There was a suggestion among us that some parishes will have to have two schedules of Misa de Gallo daily to ensure social distancing while accommodating the number of parishioners. For instance, Misa de Gallo can be held at 4 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.,” Geonzon said.
Parishes await final guidelines from the Cebu City government and the archdiocese.
Geonzon said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma instructed priests to comply with guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease and the City Government.
The Provincial Government will also only allow churches to hold dawn masses.
Geonzon said they need to consider when to hold the Misa de Gallo since some areas like Cebu City have a curfew.
He said they might lose the essence of the Misa de Gallo if held at another time.
“The mass for the Misa de Gallo is in honor of the Blessed Mother Mary. We cannot anticipate the Liturgy of the Misa de Gallo and the Liturgy for the Simbang Gabi will be taken from the mass proper the following day,” he said.
Geonzon said the archdiocese is open to coordinating with local government units on these matters as they both value the safety of parishioners.
He said the archdiocese has been supportive of the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019, which included closing cemeteries nationwide during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 1 and 2, respectively.
“But we are really hopeful that Misa de Gallo will still push through (in other areas in Cebu) because in our churches, we have already observed the protocol. We can contain and control the people in churches unlike in cemeteries,” he said. (WBS)