EIGHT parishes in Mandaue City and some satellite venues will hold Misa de Gallo beginning December 16, 2020.
This was confirmed by Archdiocese of Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones.
Billones discussed the Church’s initial plans for the pre-Christmas dawn masses with Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes; John Eddu Ibanez, executive secretary of Cortes; August Lizer Malate, head of the Emergency Operations Office; and Police Col. Jonathan Abella, director of the Mandaue City Police Office.
“Misa de Gallo, is culturally part of our heritage as Cebuano and it is essential to our life,” Billones said.
Billones said the Mandaue City Government supports the holding of Misa de Gallo in the city even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Mandaue City has not reported any new coronavirus cases in the past six days, Billones said they intend to maintain that record by making sure that the enforcement of standard health protocols remain a priority.
Billones said they have yet to finalize the schedule of the masses which will depend on the eight parishes in Mandaue City.
Billones said anticipated masses will also be held at night to lessen the dawn attendees.
The dawn masses from Dec. 16-24 will start between 4-4:30 a.m., said Billones.
In another interview, Cortes said Billones will meet with the parishes in Mandaue City to look for satellite venues like barangay gyms and plazas that are wide enough to safely hold masses.
According to Cortes, even before the pandemic, Mandaue City parishes have not been large enough to accommodate the huge number of people attending the dawn masses, much more now with the required physical distancing.
Cortes offered the use of the Mandaue City Plaza near the National Shrine of Saint Joseph where, he said, a television monitor will be installed for other massgoers who could no longer enter the church.
Parking within the vicinity of the park will not be allowed to provide more space for massgoers.
Barangay officials and policemen have been tasked to fully implement the health protocols particularly the rule on social distancing in the parishes and satellite areas.
Meanwhile, with barely two weeks to go before the start of the nine-day masses, the Archdiocese of Cebu has yet to issue final guidelines.
Fr. Japheth Geonzon, vice chairman of the Commission on Worship ,in an interview on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will call for a meeting with the priests of the different parishes in Cebu City as soon as Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella makes a final decision on the matter.
Labella, on Thursday, Dec. 3, agreed to adjust the city’s curfew hours to pave the way for the holding of Misa de Gallo between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Labella said he will issue an executive order (EO) formalizing the changes in the city’s curfew along with other new guidelines on Monday, Dec. 7.
Geonzon, who is also a member of the pastoral team of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, said they plan to put up LED walls outside the cathedral for parishioners who will be attending mass outside
“Our challenge to our priests is for them to also look for ways so that those outside their churches can still properly attend the masses,” he said in Cebuano.