MANILA - The public is urged to transform their homes into a church this Holy Week as religious gatherings are prohibited during the strict lockdown of Metro Manila and nearby areas, a parish priest said Wednesday.
The NCR Plus bubble, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was placed under enhanced community quarantine until Easter Sunday to curb the surge of COVID-19 infections.
At home, parents would be the spiritual leaders, said Fr. Luciano Felloni, parish priest of Kristong Hari Church in Quezon City.
"It should be na ang tahanan ay simbahan sa bahay. What we call a domestic church. The parents should be spiritual leaders. You cannot outsource being the spiritual leader, hindi mo ipasa sa school, sa simbahan," he told ANC's Headstart.
"For example, last Sunday we asked them prepare your branches. We will bless the water online and the father will bless the palaspas ng kasama niya sa bahay."
All masses will be available online for the public's viewing, he added.
Felloni also noted that this year's Holy Week celebration was closer to the first event.
"Remember all accounts of the Resurrection start by 'Nakatipon sila, nakasara ang bahay.' They were locked down in fear. There’s so much fear, (uncertainty), sadness and lockdown," he said.
"That can be an opportunity to bring us closer to Jesus. Not only to be close in the days of fear but also in the days of resurrection."
Felloni urged the public to "get closer to God and to each other" this Holy Week.
"There are a lot of people who need us these days in a lot of ways. Don’t get self-absorbed. Hindi lang 'yung sarili mo ang isipin mo. Look around, reach out to people in different ways. In this we are together, we really need to help each other at this time," he said.
(Don't just think of yourself.)
"Holy Week shows that our pain is temporary, lilipas din 'yan (it will pass). Pangalawa (Second) it is transitory--may patutunguhan (It will lead to something). The last word will always be victory, not suffering," he said.
The surge of COVID-19 cases is God giving the people "opportunity to come out better after this crisis," according to Felloni.
"Pope Francis said it beautifully, this is a big crisis. You never come out of a crisis the same--you come out better or worse. I think God is trying to tell us: 'Come on guys, wake up. Your world was not normal, your priorities were not okay,'" he said.
"Our life was a disaster. Ang gulo ng planeta, ng ekonomiya, ng politika (The planet, the economy, politics were messy). If we are dreaming to go back to there that will be very stupid from us. Take the opportunity and come out better."