Masses suspended in Albay, Catanduanes due to COVID-19
LEGAZPI CITY –– The Diocese of Legazpi in Albay and Virac in Catanduanes have decided to indefinitely suspend all Holy Masses starting on Saturday as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi told all priests, religious, and organizations that the suspension of Masses in all parishes of Albay was a preemptive measure against the disease.
“Considering that people are now arriving from Manila and we don’t know if they are aware of the self-quarantine of Albay and thus might still come to church thus putting our faithful at risk,” Baylon said.
The prelate instead enjoined the faithful to hear Mass aired over the radio and on television.
He also asked the faithful to continue praying the Oratio Imperata against COVID-19 and “begging the Lord to save us from this deadly threat.”
As this developed, Father Joseph Salando of the Diocese of Legazpi in a meeting with “paso” owners (owners of images of saints and their carriages used in processions) that all religious events in connection with the upcoming Holy Week, particularly the holding of Palm Sunday, Holy Friday procession, and Easter Sunday, are likewise canceled.
The Diocese of Virac also issued a pastoral circular informing the faithful that it had canceled all Masses starting Saturday until further notice.
The Diocese, however, said the faithful may still offer their intentions through private Masses. Priests are to celebrate private masses alone or with a server./lzb
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