Church decrees smaller ‘KBL’ crowds
Looks like the three typical milestones in Filipino social life known as “KBL” (“kasal,” “binyag,” “libing,” or wedding, baptism, burial) are up for downsizing, no thanks to the pandemic.
Wedding invitations are going to be a lot shorter after the Archdiocese of Manila prohibited couples getting married this year from having an entourage once the lockdown and restrictions on religious ceremonies ease to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that after the government allows the resumption of religious services, only “simple weddings” would be held in the churches under the Manila archdiocese’s jurisdiction to ensure that those attending the rites would be safe from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This means that only the bride and the groom, one set of sponsors and their immediate family are allowed to witness the ceremony.
“There will be no entourage in the meantime,” said Pabillo, Manila’s apostolic administrator.
Typically, a wedding entourage consists of at least three pairs of principal sponsors and secondary sponsors, a maid of honor and best man, three pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen, three bearers (ring, coin and bible) and flower girls.
In the Philippines, even a small wedding can have 100 guests, which is a large gathering prohibited under safety guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Pabillo said this restriction was only “temporary in nature,” given the “extraordinary situation” due to the threat from SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the severe respiratory disease. He assured the public that this would be relaxed as soon as the situation permitted it.
“The situation is so fluid that we foresee that there will be other guidelines that [we’ll] follow when the situation changes or when there are other directives that will come from the government or from the Church hierarchy,” he said.
Similarly for baptisms, the prelate said that only the child’s parents and a pair of godparents are allowed to attend. Customarily, there would be at least three pairs of godparents.
Pabillo said that if many children were scheduled to be baptized together, this should be done in small batches and preferably on weekdays to avoid congestion during Sunday baptisms.
He added that priests should still observe the Church guideline of using one cotton per child in applying the Holy Oils.
For funerals, only the immediate family of the deceased would be allowed inside the church to hear Mass. If a Mass had been done during the wake, Pabillo said the family should no longer bring their dead to the church.
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