Diocese of Balanga to hold mass for faithful who died of COVID-19

The Diocese of Balanga in Bataan will offer the first holy mass Monday, Nov. 1, in all their parishes for the eternal repose of those who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Bishop Ruperto Santos (Manila Bulletin File)

“We are remembering those who perished due to COVID-19. All the first Holy Mass in our parishes will be offered for the eternal rest of the departed and for strength for those whom they left behind,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos as the nation marks All Saints Day on Monday.

Santos will celebrate a Holy Mass for the faithful departed who died of COVID-19 at the Cathedral- Shrine of Saint Joseph in Balanga at 8 a.m.

The Church leader called on the faithful “to remember in their prayers all those who died of the coronavirus.”

The prelate said the pandemic “highlights certain realities that many might have taken for granted.” "These are our need for God and of the need to strengthen our faith, our need for others and the importance of compassion, and our need to take care of ourselves and to strive to be better persons.”

“Let us not wander away from God. This pandemic makes us realize that it is only God who can help us. He is our strength and our Savior. He is our primary frontliner, our essential provider,” Santos said.

Santos said that only God is permanent and that everything else like title, money, beauty, power, and skills are temporary. “Let us reconcile with the Lord while we still have time, while we are still here and while we are still strong. Let us change our ways for in the end, we will come home to Him,” Santos said.

The bishop likewise called on the faithful “to be compassionate towards others. Let us always be ready to help and to sacrifice for others. At the end of this pandemic, we will have to ask ourselves what we have done to help those who suffered the most.”

Bishop Santos reminded the faithful to continue to be cautious and to strictly follow the health protocols to avoid getting sick of the virus. “Let us take care of ourselves so we can better serve others. Let us stay away from vices, eat right and take time to rest. Let us nourish our spiritual life and follow the example of Jesus,” he said.

Roman Catholics mark Nov. 1 as All Saints Day in honor of the holy saints in heaven and Nov. 2 as All Souls Day in memory of the faithful departed. To prevent mass gatherings, the government has ordered the temporary closure of all private and public cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3.