‘GOD WON’T ABANDON US’ Masses, Holy Week activities cancelled

first_imgPUTTING FAITH INTO ACTION. “The COVID- 19 pandemic presents an evolving scenario, one that is not static or easily predictable,” according to Jaro Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo. “We respond to the pandemic in faith which we express in prayer and action both personal and communal.” IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN “As a people of God, our primary andbasic response to this pandemic is no other than prayer,” according to Lazo,but he also stressed, “We are facing a crisis.” (April 5-11) But more than anything else, stressedthe Archbishop, the faithful must not cease praying. Regarding weddings, the “HolyMatrimony is encouraged to be rescheduled.” All these Lent celebrations will bebroadcasted online, according to Lazo. “If possible, celebrate the mass athome.” Effective March 19, the Archbishop wasdispensing the faithful “from their Sunday obligation to participate in theHoly Eucharist (mass)” and masses on weekdays (Monday to Saturday) untilfurther notice. In funeral masses, on the other hand,attendance “should be limited within family members.” * Observe proper hygiene, coughing andsneezing etiquette. * The Holy Thursday Visita iglesia is cancelled. Thus, he said, “together with theexpertise of our health professionals and government efforts, we respond to thepandemic in faith which we express in prayer and action both personal andcommunal.” “In some cases of peculiarities in theChristian community, the parish priest may make a pastoral judgment but alwaysin consultation with the Archbishop,” stressed Lazo. Available data (2015) showed theArchdiocese of Jaro’s jurisdiction having a Catholic population of 2,641,965. He also ordered the rescheduling oftown and barangay fiesta masses “until further notice.” As a people of God, “We ask the Lordfor His divine assistance to guide and protect us. This moment of crisis is amoment to strengthen our faith. Prayer casts away all fears.” The COVID- 19 pandemic “presents anevolving scenario, one that is not static or easily predictable,” Lazo stressedin a four-page guideline he released to his flock in one of the largestarchdioceses in the country. If the wedding could not be postponed,attendance in the mass “should be limited only to a small group” that shouldstrictly following the protocols issued by the Department of Health (DOH) andlocal government unit (LGU) concerned. * All public celebrations arecancelled. As to baptisms/confirmations, theseshould proceed only in emergency cases, otherwise, these should be rescheduled. ILOILO City – Assuring the Ilonggos that“God will never abandon us”,  ArchbishopJose Romeo Lazo of Jaro suspended masses and Holy Week activities in a drasticmove to help stop to possible entry and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) in his archdiocese which covers the provinces of Iloilo  and Guimaras. Prayercenter_img On the matter of confession, “anyfaithful who is extremely in need” of it may approach any priest who shouldensure that proper precautionary measures are observed. PersonalGuidelines For the “celebration of the anointingof the sick”, Lazo urged priests to “respond generously and with urgency to thespiritual needs of the sick and the dying” but they must exercise caution byobserving DOH protocols. For the parishes, Lazo ordered aroutine disinfection of pews and other furniture, doorknobs and otherfrequently-touched objects, even microphone covers, electric fans andair-conditioning units. * Public celebration of PaschalTriduum is cancelled. * Always clean and disinfectsurroundings. Masses * Observe social distancing. Lazo invoked a passage in the Bible,“You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no evil to the neighbor.” (Romans 13, 9-10) Holy Week * Stay at home and seek medicalattention when exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty ofbreathing and diarrhea. * Refrain contact with individualsdisplaying symptoms of the illness. For those who are sick: praying,reading the Bible and participating in the celebration of the mass over theradio, internet or television is encouraged. * Eat healthy. However, he encouraged them “participatein the Eucharistic celebration” through social media, the internet, televisionand radio. He exhorted the faithful to pray thefollowing daily: the Holy Rosary, Litany of the Saints, devotion to San Roque, “thepowerful saint implored during times of plagues”; and the Oratio Imperata against COVID-19. “Our help is in the name of the Lordwho made heaven and earth,” he quoted Psalm 124, 8. For priests, however, Lazo directedthem to “celebrate mass in their private capacity and offer this for theintention of the cessation of the spread of the virus, for the sick and thesafety of our health workers.” The archbishop also issued what hetermed as “personal guidelines” to further keep people safe. These are the following: Also, “Observe forms of Lenten penancesuch as fasting, abstinence and almsgiving. The fruit of penance is a way toGod’s mercy,” according to the archbishop./PNlast_img

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