‘How long?’: Prelate laments absence of faithful in churches due to COVID-19 threat

Published March 27, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Analou de Vera

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed frustration with the country’s current situation brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (FACEBOOK/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

CBCP Vice President Bishop Pablo David asked how much longer will it take for him to preach again the Word of God in churches with the faithful being physically present. 

“How long O Lord, will you make me celebrate Mass without joy before empty pews? How long will you make me preach a homily to a camera and imagine people attending virtually from their homes?,” David said in a Facebook post. 

“How long will I break the Eucharistic bread and have no one to partake it with? How long will we keep reciting the “oratio imperata” which we have prayed for more than a whole year already? How long before we can again sing our hearts out in Church, belt out our praise songs or just speak in tongues again?,” he added. 

The prelate also asked when will it happen again that families will live a normal life.

“How long before we can ever see a joyful smile again behind those masks and face shields? How long before we can ever again hold, or shake, or kiss each other’s hands?,” he said. 

“How long before we can hear again the welcome noise and comforting giggles of children inside our chapels and churches?,” he added. 

David also lamented the continued rise in the number of people dying due to COVID-19. 

“How long will we have to endure the loss of our loved ones without the chance of grieving together, of hugging or embracing each other or wiping away each other’s tears?,” he said.

“How long will the list of Mass intentions for the sick, the dying and the dead keep getting longer? How long o Lord? How long?,” he added.