MANILA, Oct 15 (Mabuhay) — The Catholic Church on Friday urged the faithful to go back to attending in-person Masses every Sunday as the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation continues to improve.

A typical Sunday mass in the Philippines (MNS photo)

“We strongly encourage our faithful to return to the Sunday Eucharist with a purified heart, renewed amazement, and increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with him, to receive him, and bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love and hope,” CBCP president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said in Circular No. 22-36 issued on Friday, addressed to all bishops and Diocesan administrators.

David also reminded the public to still strictly follow health protocols as provided by the government.

“Health protocols are still to be implemented in our parish churches and venues for the liturgical celebrations. We make sure that our faithful are convinced that they are safe in our churches and venues for the liturgical celebrations,” he added.

David also said the “Act of Spiritual Communion” is a devotional prayer and not a liturgical prayer.

“Therefore it should not be prayed aloud when communion is received by the faithful in attendance in our celebrations. The “Act of Spiritual Communion” is intended for those who are following the celebration online. It is better projected on the screen for those following the Mass online,” he added.

As for the celebration of Masses online, the CBCP head said they are evaluating and studying the needed frequency of celebrations of the Holy Eucharist by live streaming.

On March 13, 2020, the CBCP issued a circular, allowing local ordinaries to exercise their prerogative to dispense the faithful from the Sunday and the Holy Days of Obligation, depending on the given circumstances.

Also, the Church pushed for providing the celebration of the Eucharist through virtual means by internet, radio, and television in response to the government’s stricter measures to stem the spread of Covid-19.  (MNS)