Holy Week celebration shifted online over COVID-19 threat

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 09:53 AM | Updated as of Mar 19 2020 10:05 AM

People attend the Friday mass outside Quiapo Church a day after the celebration of the Black Nazarene procession in Manila on January 10, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The celebration of Holy Week and other church activities will be held online, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said Thursday as Luzon observes a region-wide lockdown due to the threat of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mass services were earlier shifted online following government's ban on mass gatherings in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has killed 17 people and infected 202 others in the Philippines.

The Filipino faithful are urged to observe fasting and days of prayer every Friday, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.

"Sana po ngayong nasa bahay tayo talagang nagsusumamo tayo sa Diyos," he told radio DZMM.

"Kung anuman ang ating matitipid sa ating fasting, ibigay po natin ang tulong sa mga nangangailangan, lalong-lalo na 'yung mga informal settlers, day-to-day lang na nagtatrabaho."

Donations may be coursed through local parishes or Caritas Manila, Pabillo said.

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The bishop also invited the laity to join in the praying of the rosary worldwide at 9 p.m., as called for by Pope Francis.

"Sana makiisa tayo dito ngayon, nakikita natin na talaga ang hirap masugpo nito pero meron tayo isang nakakatanging tulong at yan ang divine intervention," he said.

The Quiapo Church in Manila, meantime, remains open for individuals who would like to pray and those who do not have any place to rest for the night, according to its parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong.

"Binubuksan po pag walang misa para sa mga gustong magdasal nang personal at tulugan sa gabi ng mga walang matuluyan," he said.