Faithful urged to join Holy Week liturgical activities online

Published March 28, 2021, 8:56 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

No need to worry if you cannot physically go to church this Holy Week.

You can still follow the different Masses and liturgical activities at home virtually.

Churches such as those in Metro Manila have announced that they will have online streaming of their Masses and liturgical services via social media.

Among these churches are the Quiapo Church and the Manila Cathedral.

Catholic television channel TV Maria will also air the activities at the Manila Cathedral.

“It has been made clear in the pastoral instruction of Bishop Broderick Pabillo that we encourage people to join us online,” Father Genaro Diwa of the Archdiocese of Manila Liturgical Commission said in a virtual forum Friday, March 26.

“We are aware of the health situation that we have today,” he added.

Since many Filipino Catholics won’t be able to go out of their homes due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and community quarantine restrictions, the Manila Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission also released a guide on “Family celebrations of Holy Week and Easter Triduum at home.”

“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,” the commission said.

Based on the guide, the faithful have two options:  following the live streaming of celebrations with some suggestions of rituals the members of the family can do at home; prayers and celebrations led by the head of the family following the Easter Triduum celebrations in the absence of a priest.

Families who opt to follow the live streaming of liturgical celebrations are encouraged to consider the following activities:

Holy Thursday

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

1.After following the celebration live stream, the head of the family washes the feet of the family members. After which they pray for each other so that the family will be strengthened and united by the spirit of compassion and service.

 2. The family members are encouraged to gather the money or goods which were fruits of their Lenten penance. They can send this to their parish, to any charitable institution or a poor family in the community. 

3. They can share a family meal.

Good Friday

1. The heart of the celebration is the Passion Narrative. The members of the family are invited to listen intently to the proclamation and spend time to reflect and even share their reflections to each other.

2. Families can venerate the crucifix at home. 

3. Anytime during the day, families are encouraged to pray the Stations of the Cross.

Holy Saturday

1. Family members gather before or after breakfast to pray the morning prayer with the atmosphere of keeping vigil at the tomb of Christ. 

2. They are encouraged to maintain silence and reflection while awaiting the Easter feast.

Easter Vigil

1. Prepare a candle that could serve as the family Easter candle and a reminder of the triumph of the Paschal Mystery in any human struggle of crisis.

2. The family members participate in the Renewal of Baptismal Promises. After the renewal, as a reminder of Baptism, they can trace the sign of the cross at each other’s forehead.

3. A family meal is shared after the celebration.

Easter Sunday

1. The family Easter candle is lit.

2. The family members participate in the Renewal of Baptismal Promises. After the renewal, as a reminder of Baptism, they can trace the sign of the cross at each other’s forehead.

On Saturday, March 27, the government placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 4.

Mass gatherings including religious services are  prohibited under ECQ.