The ten bishops of Metro Manila have declared that there will be no masses and no public events in Metro Manila until April 14.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, Bishop Francisco de Leon of Antipolo, Bishop Roberto Gaa of Novaliches, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Bishop Jesse Mercado of Paranaque, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos, Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco of Antipolo and Bishop Oscar Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines released a joint Pastoral Statement today stating the following:
All celebrations with large gatherings are suspended until April 14:
(1) No Holy Mass and religious activities
We will abide by the government’s directive to suspend all large gatherings from March 15 to April 14. So there will be no celebration of the Holy Mass with a large congregation within this period, plus other religious activities during the Holy Week which usually attract huge crowds of the faithful.
(2) No Holy Week activities
Since the dates for the Metro Manila Community Quarantine will coincide with the last three Sundays of Lent, and Holy Week, it would mean that the liturgical celebrations during those days, including Palm Sunday, the rest of the Holy Week and Easter Sunday will not be open to the public
There will be no public blessing of palms, Visita Iglesia, Siete Palabras, Good Friday procession and Easter Salubong.
(3) No Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings except for those already scheduled but with strict restrictions
The Baptisms, Confirmations, and Weddings scheduled within these dates, which can no longer be postponed due to the enormity of the preparations involved, may push through, but will be subject to severe restrictions as to the number of participants and attendees, and proper social distancing should be observed. All other celebrations of these aforementioned sacraments are to be temporarily deferred.
What Catholics are encouraged to do in the meantime:
(1) Attend online masses and online Lenten events.
We heed the instruction of the CBCP which reads: “We should continue to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and Holy Week liturgical celebrations even in the absence of a congregation. In spite of the fact that our faithful cannot be physically present in the Eucharistic celebration, the crisis gives us the opportunity to unite ourselves with one a