4 people in ‘Washing of the Feet,’ priests’ mobile blessing and other Lenten rituals during quarantine

Published April 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Aquino

By now, Black Saturday, Catholics have found other ways to participate in Lenten rituals.  Aside from hearing the Holy Mass online, there are also new variations to traditional practices, one of them the washing of the feet of 12 people in the churches during a mass on Holy Thursday.

Last Holy Thursday, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo washed the feet of only four people — a media practitioner, doctor, police officer and a driver during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (CBCP NEWS / ROY LAGARDE)
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (CBCP NEWS / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

It was at the Last Supper that Jesus washed the feet of his apostles, telling them “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

Bishop Pabillo explained that there is really no required number of people who will participate in the Washing of the Feet.

“It doesn’t have to be 12. They do not represent the apostles. They represent the people we serve.” he said in an interview.

After the evening mass, a number of priests resorted to conducting a drive-by procession of the Blessed Sacrament on the streets to reach out to the parishioners.

The faithful in turn lighted candles and prayed while waiting for the procession to pass in front of their homes.

Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy likened this to the traditional “visita iglesia” (church visit) except that this time it’s Jesus visiting the homes.

“This time it’s Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament who makes the Visita Iglesia.” he said in a Facebook post.

A number of dioceses also suspended public masses last month after the government declared a Luzon-wide ECQ to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

And since the faithful under home quarantine cannot physically go to church to observe the different Holy Week traditions, the Catholic Church thought of ways on how to still reach their parishioners while maintaining social distancing.

On Palm Sunday, priests in villages also rode a vehicle to bless the palms that the villagers held in front of their houses. Some of the palms were not the usual palm fronds as the faithful made use of any available leafy branch in their homes.

While there may be a litany of things that one is unable to do this Holy Week, Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said this should not distract the people from what the observance is really about.

A number of dioceses also suspended public masses last month after the government declared a Luzon-wide ECQ to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

 
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