More Masses in churches as cemeteries close
MANILA, Philippines — More Masses will be held in Catholic churches in the coming week after Metro Manila mayors agreed to close cemeteries on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
At the Manila Cathedral, the Blessed Souls Chapel will be open the whole day for offering Mass intentions and votive candles for the dead.
On Nov. 1, there will be Masses at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Nov. 2, there will be Masses at 7:30 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.
The Rite of Blessing of Cremated Remains will be celebrated after every Mass while maintaining health and safety measures.
Fr. Kali Llamado, Manila Cathedral vice rector, said those who wish to have the urns of their loved ones blessed should just attend the Sunday Mass and come forward.
There will be no need for registration and the blessing of the urns and liturgical Mass for the dead are free, he said.
“After the Mass, the families with urns, even those who are standing outside the Church around Plaza Roma but are not allowed to enter the church due to the limited capacity, will be called to come upfront,” Llamado said.
Fr. Douglas Badong, Quiapo Church rector, said there will be regular Masses on Nov. 1 and 2.
On Tuesday, the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission-Manila released a Family Prayer for the Faithful Departed downloadable on its official Facebook page.
The prayer, it said, might be used during a visit to the cemetery or columbarium when allowed by quarantine measures.
An altar has to be prepared with a crucifix, lighted candles and pictures of departed loved ones to foster an atmosphere of prayer. The head of the family may serve as prayer leader, while the others are readers.
The head of the family may also sprinkle holy water on the tomb of the deceased after the concluding prayer.
At Baclaran Church, there are daily Masses except Wednesday and Sunday at 6:45 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
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