MANILA Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula directed parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila on Friday, March 17, 2023, to exert more effort in convincing their parishioners to return to attending Masses in churches, instead of virtually.
In Circular 2023-29, Advincula said it is necessary for parishes to better encourage the faithful to realize that the Church building is "the home of the celebration of the liturgy."
"The resumption of the obligation of the faithful to participate in the Sunday Eucharist has naturally taken effect," said Advincula.
"We must strongly encourage our faithful to return to the Sunday Eucharist with renewed amazement and devotion," he added.
The Cardinal said this is in accordance with the October 2022 circular of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that encourages the faithful to return to attending Masses in churches.
"The circumstances permit and oblige us to return to the normality of Christian life, which has the Church building as its home of the celebration of the liturgy," said the CBCP in its circular.
And to do so, Advincula said the necessity of the faithful to return to churches for the Sunday Eucharist should be explained in homilies and in catechesis.
He said parishes must also continue the implementation of health protocols during liturgical celebrations in order to convince the faithful that they are safe in churches.
The prelate also said that the "Act of Spiritual Communion" should not be prayed aloud when communion is distributed to the faithful participating in the celebrations.
Instead, he said communion ministers are now instructed to say "The Body of Christ" to each communicant when distributing communion.
He also said that all holy water fonts, which have been emptied during the pandemic, may now be used after the Easter Vigil.
Advincula also asked all parishes to evaluate the frequency of livestreaming of the celebrations of their Holy Masses. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)