EXPLAINER: How the Traslacion will happen in pandemic-stricken 2021
MANILA, Philippines — On January 9 of each year, millions of devotees from across the country travel to Manila to attend the “Traslacion” (solemn transfer) or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene.
However, for this year, the annual grand procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, or popularly known as Quiapo Church, will not push through because of the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The “pahalik” (kissing of the image) was also canceled and will be replaced instead with a “pagpugay” (paying tribute) or “pagtanaw” (viewing) of the image.
Instead of a procession, more Masses will be held for the devotees. The annual celebration will be ushered in by novena Masses from Dec. 31 to Jan. 9.
The novena Masses will be celebrated by Roman Catholic prelates – Iba Bishop Bartolome Santos, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa, Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, Pasig Bishop Mylo Vergara, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, Imus Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, and Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco.
On the Feast Day of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9, the Mass will be celebrated by Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo at 4 a.m.
Only 30% of the seating capacity of the Quiapo Church had been allowed for Masses on the Feast Day of the Black Nazarene.
More monitors will be set up in entry points of the Quiapo Church to enable devotees to watch the Masses through the screens.
Nearby Sta. Cruz Church and the San Sebastian Church will also be celebrating masses on Jan. 9, to urge people to attend masses there instead of the Quiapo Church.
Church authorities will also be putting 14 prayer stations within the vicinity of the Quiapo Church, where people can also pray.
The Black Nazarene’s image will also be brought to different places to prevent hundreds and thousands of devotees from trooping to see it.
The image of the Black Nazarene will be visiting these locations:
Dec. 31 – Hospicio de San Jose
Jan. 1 – San Lazaro Hospital
Jan. 2 – Manila Cathedral
Jan. 3 – Greenbelt Chapel in Makati City
Jan. 4 – Manila City Hall
Jan. 5. – Bureau of Fire Protection National Headquarters in Quezon City
Jan. 6 – Manila Police District Headquarters
Jan. 7 – Barangay 394, Manila
Jan. 8 – NCS-BEC’s Community, Sto. Domingo Shrine, Quezon City
The Black Nazarene image will also visit the following churches in Southern Luzon:
Dec. 30 to 31 – Antipolo Cathedral, Antipolo, Rizal
Jan. 2 – Shrine of Padre Pio, Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Jan. 3 – San Vicente Ferrer Parish, Biñan, Laguna
Jan. 4 – San Roque Parish/Porta Vaga, Cavite City
Jan. 5 – San Isidro Parish, Las Piñas City
Jan. 6 – Sto. Nino Parish, Signal Village, Taguig City
Jan. 7 – Baclaran Church
The procession of the image is the highlight of the Feast of the Black Nazarene and attracts millions of devotees who walk barefoot ahead of and behind the life-size image of Jesus Christ carrying the cross. Devotees jostle with each other for the chance to touch the image which is carried by a sea of devotees onboard the “andas” or carriage. The image which originally came from Mexico is believed to be miraculous.
The Traslacion starts from the Quirino Grandstand early in the morning of Jan. 9, and winds through the major streets of Manila to its destination—Quiapo Church.
Hundreds of thousands more line the streets to watch the procession, making the event a potential virus superspreader.
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