Bishop to faithful: Use ECQ period to get closer to God


    INSTEAD of sulking over the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the faithful should instead use lockdown period to find ways to get closer to God this Holy Week, Bishop Broderick Pabillo said yesterday.

    The National Capital Region (Metro Manila) and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are under the ECQ until Easter Sunday because of a continued rise in COVID-19 infections.

    Pabillo, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said it is understandable to be frustrated because of the restrictions but that should not stop the faithful from observing the meaning of Holy Week.

    “The COVID-19 virus cannot prevent us from getting in touch with the Lord in a deeper way and in worshiping him during these days,” he said.

    The Archdiocese of Manila has issued guidelines on the conduct liturgical celebrations during the Holy Week without going to churches.

    “We go back to the experience of the early Church when Christians gather to worship at home. This is an opportune time to encourage families to pray at home. The head of the family leads the household in prayer,” said the Archdiocese of Manila.

    For mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, the Manila Archdiocese said families may follow the mass live stream, have the head of the family wash the feet of the family members, pray for each other so that the family will be strengthened and united by the spirit of compassion and service, and share a family meal.

    Family members are also encouraged to gather money or goods, which are fruits of their Lenten penance, and send them to their parish, any charitable institution, or a poor family in the community.

    For Good Friday, family members are invited to listen to the Passion Narrative and spend time to reflect and even share reflections with each other.

    Families are also invited to venerate the crucifix at home, and to pray the Stations of the Cross.

    Come Holy Saturday, family members are urged to gather before or after breakfast to pray the morning prayer with the atmosphere of keeping vigil at the tomb of Christ. They are also encouraged to maintain silence and reflection while awaiting the Easter feast.

    And for the Easter Vigil, the Archdiocese said families may prepare their Easter candle and participate in the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, followed by the tracing of the sign of the cross at each other’s forehead.

    For Easter Sunday, families are told to light their Easter candles.

    The family members are encouraged to attend the Easter Sunday Mass together.