MANILA -- Entourage members, known in the Philippines as "abay," will no longer be allowed in church wedding ceremonies under the "new normal," according to the new guidelines released by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
In a statement released on its website, CBCP said only the bride and groom, the parents of the couple, and one set of sponsors can attend a church wedding ceremony.
"The wedding rites prescribed in the liturgical book have to be followed. But, due to the demand of social distancing, wedding celebrations this year will have to be simpler than usual," it said.
"We have to forego all of the secondary elements of the normal wedding ceremonies, e.g., the wedding entourage (abays)," it added.
CBCP similarly proposed that attendees of funerals and baptisms be reduced to immediate family members, plus a pair of godparents for the latter.
"The baptismal water to be used should be clean and blessed for that celebration. The Holy Oils should be applied, using cotton, on the one baptized. The cotton with holy oils should be burned after the celebration," CBCP said.
As applied in eucharistic celebrations, all attendees of the said sacraments are required to wear face masks and comply with physical distancing measures.
Meanwhile, CBCP said mass confirmations can be foregone this year, with confessions to be done outdoors "where there is better circulation of air and additional space for safe distance."