TABUK CITY, Kalinga- After more than two months that public masses and other religious activities were suspended due to the threat of the Corona Virus Disease, churches may now resume their activities as the city shifted to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
On May 31, City Mayor Darwin Estrañero issued Executive Order No. 42 where it was specified under Section 3E that religious gatherings are now allowed provided that they shall only accommodate half or 50% of the churches’ seating capacity to properly observe social distancing.
The mayor further reiterates to follow and observe strict safety and health precautions to include the use of face mask and frequent washing of hands or hand sanitation.
Based on the guidelines released by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Luzon, the resumption of public masses and other church activities are under certain condition. This include the strict observation of the Inter- Agency Task Force and Local Government Unit protocols particularly on the physical or social distancing, crowed control and wearing of face mask.
According to the guideline forwarded by Father Ace Blaquera, Saint William’s Cathedral is now open to all parishioners who wish to pray and attend the public celebration of their masses.
However, only 320 individual or 25% of the original seating capacity of the church are allowed to enter the cathedral for every mass .It also states that strict social distancing and wearing of face mask will be implemented and hand sanitizers will be placed at the entrance.
Blaquera however suggested that church goers have to bring their own hand sanitizers or alcohol for their own consumption. He is also asking for the parishioners to observe church protocols when inside the cathedral.
“For our church parishioners, please do observe church protocols when inside the cathedral. There are designated sits for every individual maintaining social distancing,” he said adding that “one family could stay in one pew since they are staying in the same house.”
“Go home immediately after mass. As much as possible, no more chatting, kumustahan, beso- beso, shaking of hands, and the traditional blessing or mano,” he said.
NEW SCHEDULE OF MASSES AT ST. WILLIAM’S CATHEDRAL
6:30 AM – Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
6:00 AM – Wednesdays, Saturdays and every first Friday of the month
ANTICIPATED SUNDAY MASS
5:00 PM – Every Saturday with simultaneous Facebook live streaming through the Saint William’s Cathedral official face book page.
6:00 AM – First Mass
7:00 AM – Second Mass
8:30 AM – Third Mass
10:00 AM – Fourth Mass
4:00 PM – Fifth Mass
5:00 PM – Sixth Mass
FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO ATTEND THE HOLY MASS THROUGH ON-LINE or FACEBOOK:
7:30 AM & 12:10 PM – Mondays to Fridays
7:30 AM – Saturdays
ANTICIPATED SUNDAY MASS
5:00 PM – Saturdays
8:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM – Sundays
With the opening of public masses, the Vicariate of Tabuk is still encouraging the parishioners particularly the elderly, children, immune compromised and pregnant women to stay in their homes and just join in cathedral’s online mass.
By Mae-Ann Padilla