THE Archdiocese of Cebu, through its Commission on Worship and Liturgical Commission, said devotional processions usually conducted on Holy Week will not be observed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based on the guidelines for the celebration of Holy Week 2021 that the Archdiocese issued on Tuesday, March 2, these devotional processions include the “Via Crucis” on Fridays of Lent and within the days of the Holy Week; the “Pasos” on Holy Tuesday or Holy Wednesday; the “Visita Iglesia” on Holy Thursday; the “Santo Entierro”; the “La Soledad” processions on Good Friday; and the “Sugat” at dawn on Easter Sunday.
The same restriction will also cover home visitations by the “apostles” practiced in previous years.
This year’s Holy Week celebration will fall on March 28 to April 3.
The Archdiocese said that whenever it is possible to conduct a motorcade of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thurdsday, or of the Cross on Good Friday, or the Resurrrected Christ after Easter Vigil, these have to be consulted with the concerned local government units (LGUs) and barangay officials.
The Archdiocese said the Via Crucis in the parish may be observed outdoor by individuals or immediate families, but strictly, not by big groups.
Stationary Via Crucis inside the church wherein the faithful only stay in their seats can be considered.
The “Pasyon/Pabasa” in chapels or homes is also prohibited.
Vigils with the public are also not to be observed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday considering the implemented curfew.
Prayer meetings of any sort by various organizations are not allowed.
Under the guidelines, the celebration of the Chrism mass will be held together with all the clergy on March 23 at 9 a.m. at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cebu.
However, this will be a closed-door or exclusive celebration and may be participated by a limited number of lay faithful, the parish pastoral council members, lay liturgical ministers and the household of the Cathedral.
Moreover, the blessing of the palms or any leaf branches, for those who will be attending the mass celebration for the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, is imparted by the Scriptural reading and the prayer of blessing during the celebration.
There is also no need for holy water for the blessing of the palm branches.
For the Easter Vigil, the Archdiocese said, this will be celebrated only in the Cathedral and parish churches not earlier than 6 p.m., depending on the curfew implemented in the place.
The Blessing of the Fire and Preparation of the Candle can be done outside the church. It can also be celebrated within the church’s building, if the latter is not possible.
The Baptismal liturgy during this time can also be done to either children or adults; however, the number of candidates must be minimal.
Moreover, in place of the “Sugat/Salubong” procession, the Archdiocese said a motorcade of the statue of the “Risen Lord” and the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be brought around the parish.
This however, still has to be in strict coordination with barangay offiicals to implement social distancing.
Programs, dances and others are prohibited.
The “Sugat” should be observed not earlier than 5 a.m. (WBS)