By J. Jala | 12:18 PM May 20, 2020
Getting married this year? That means you probably have to think twice of the “new norm.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has issued guidelines for liturgical celebrations in anticipation of the return of church ceremonies in light of the new normal due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We offer you then some guidelines in view of the possibility, in the gradual return to the new normal that we will be allowed to celebrate the Sacraments with the people in attendance, especially the Holy Eucharist,” the CBCP said on Saturday.
It added that the main content of these guidelines was drawn up by Fr. Genaro Diwa, Executive Secretary of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Liturgy.
CBCP scrapped all of the secondary elements of the normal wedding ceremonies such as the entourage of “abays.” Only the bride and the groom, their parents, and a set of sponsors are allowed in the rites.
Aside from this, confessions should be done outdoors as CBCP advised not to use the confessionals inside the church.
“It is preferable that they be heard outdoors, where there is better circulation of air and additional space for safe distance between the confessor and the penitent,” it said.
During baptisms, only immediate family members and one or a pair of godparents are allowed to attend the ceremony.
To observe social distancing, markers will be set up on the benches and pews to indicate where the faithful could go and sit inside the church.
For the Holy Communion, the CBCP maintained to distribute the bread only on the hand. Priests and lay ministers administering the ceremony are instructed to sanitize their hands before and after the distribution.
The number of choir members who will sing during the celebrations need to be reduced to observe social distancing. CBCP advised only a cantor who will lead the assembly in the singing.
All of the church visitors as well as those who will lead and assist the ceremonies are advised to wear face masks and observe social distancing.