Like most churches across the country, the Quiapo Church has started to prepare for the traditional Simbang Gabi masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an eased community quarantine status, the church’s administrators expect more churchgoers to attend its masses.
According to Saleema Refran's report on "24 Oras", church leaders said they would strictly implement the health protocols while waiting for the new guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Only fully vaccinated attendees will be allowed inside the church and up to 50% capacity, while 70% outdoor venue capacity is allowed. The attendees will be monitored by the church volunteers and police personnel.
The priest and members of the church will also go in the place of the attendees to give communion.
“Yung mensahe ay maging tapat tayo sa Diyos kahit anong mangyari. Lalong higit sa panahon ng pandemya, manatiling tapat sa kanya,” Quiapo Church parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong said.
(The message is that we must be faithful to God no matter what happens. Especially during the pandemic we must stay faithful to Him.)
The Quiapo Church will also conduct mass in Liwasang Bonifacio plaza at 8 p.m. starting December 15.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the schedule of masses will depend on the alert status and the decision of the local government units.
“Mayroon pa rin namang mga taong hindi lumalabas ng kanilang bahay that is why we also need to serve them. Kaya nagmimisa kami ng aktwal, may mga tao sa harap namin, and at the same time the camera is rolling,” CBCP Executive Secretary of Public Affairs Committee Fr. Jerome Secillano said.
(There are still people who do not leave their homes that is why we also need to serve them. So we do the actual mass, there are people in front of us, and at the same time the camera is also rolling.)
“Kapag pumasok ka, dapat may vaccination [card] ka. Kasi may influx ng tao ‘yan, we appeal also to the honesty of the person,” Secillano said.
(When you enter, you must have a vaccination [card]. Because there is an influx of people, we also appeal for their honesty.)
Meanwhile, vendors of puto bumbong and bibingka are also starting to prepare ahead of the Simbang Gabi masses. -Richa Noriega/NB, GMA News