KALIBO, Aklan–Taking no chances in keeping churchgoers safe from the coronavirus, the Diocese of Kalibo recently issued guidelines for the celebration of a scaled-down Holy Week in Aklan this year.
The recommendations affecting traditional Lenten practices in the province were signed by Rev. Fr. Renier Supranes of the Diocesan Liturgical Ministry and Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc.
“We understand that the Holy Week is still relatively far-off, but bearing in mind that every day is uncertain and unpredictable due to the changes in both government and ecclesiastical guidelines and protocols, we are doing our part now to prevent the situation from getting worse even as we pray for the pandemic to end soon,” Supranes said.
The diocese has canceled Biernes Dolores (procession on Good Friday), the procession of Palms and procession of the Pasos on the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ (Palma Sunday), Last Supper in private houses and convents, Visita Iglesia (Holy Thursday), and The Soledad (Holy Saturday) in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Live, not recorded, televisual or online broadcasts are encouraged in celebrating Holy Week and Easter liturgies. Churches will be available for individual confessions with strict social distancing and wearing of masks observed.
The diocese also said that this year the solemn Via Crusis will be observed only inside the church premises; parish- or community-organized Via Crusis outside the church is prohibited.
Chrism Mass will be attended only by Clergy and parish council leaders on Holy Thursday at Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Kalibo, Aklan. The traditional washing of the feet will be done during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Siete Palabras (Passion of the Lord) may be delivered live in churches with a limited number of parishioners. Easter Vigil in the Holy Night liturgy in churches is also to be celebrated not earlier than 6 p.m.
“In this time of the pandemic, it would be wise if we focus our efforts on the liturgies of the Holy Week; activities related to popular religiosity must be planned, if not done away with,” Supranes stressed. (Boy Ryan Zabal /iNEWS-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)