Apr 2, 2020

For the large Filipino Catholic population, Holy Week is a very important time of the year in their practice of faith. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent implementation of enhanced community quarantine, many are finding different ways to still observe it without the usual mass gathering.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) recently issued a circular following a Vatican order containing recommendations for Holy Week celebrations.

[These measures] should help us find the balance between the worthy celebration of the liturgy of the Rites of Holy Week and the call of our health and civil authorities to help stem the rapid transmission of the Coronavirus Disease,” said CBCP in a statement.

[READ: The mass will be televised: Where to stream church service online amid the COVID-19 outbreak]

Recommendations include avoiding concelebrations during the Holy Week and instead be made available through live coverage on radio, television and social media. 

Pastoral Guidelines in Time of the Covid-19 Health Emergency for the Celebration of Holy Week in the Diocese of…

Posted by Diocesan Ministry for Liturgical Affairs on Saturday, March 28, 2020

Palm Sunday

In the absence of the usual congregation during Palm Sunday, the Vatican Guidelines says “the faithful [should] follow this through radio, television and social media, the blessing of their palms or any leaf branches is imparted by the Scriptural Reading and Prayer of Blessing during the celebration. In their homes there is no need for holy water for the blessing of their palm branches.”

Likewise, other Paschal Triduum celebrations from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday like Chrism mass, the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Passion of the Lord and Easter Vigil are to be observed without crowds.

Personal confessions

Both religious organizations acknowledge the difficulty of celebrating the Sacrament of Confession, an essential act encouraged during Holy Week, amid the COVID-19 crisis. To assuage concerns from Catholics, Pope Francis suggests that in the absence of a priest speak to God. “He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.”

Maintaining the solemnity of Holy Mass online

Archdiocese of Manila administrator Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo advices that since all masses will be held and streamed online, proper churchgoing decorum should still be observed. Among these is reading the excerpted scripture before the mass and as being 100 percent present even if that means letting go of that cup of morning coffee.

The archdiocese added that in their respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions, church bells will be tolled at 12 p.m. and at 8 p.m. for the praying of the Oratio Imperata and the Angelus at noon and rosary in the evening.

[READ: Return of the oratio imperata—what it is and why it’s back]

They also released a guide on how to celebrate Holy Week with the family at home here:

Read: The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission-Manila releases FAMILY CELEBRATION OF HOLY WEEK AND EASTER TRIDUUM AT…

Posted by Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Online mass and celebration schedules

The same CBCP circular orders churches to publicize online mass schedules prior to the date of celebration, so here are a few from major churches in Metro Manila that you can bookmark and tune into for Holy Week.


Quiapo Church

Aktibidad para sa MGA MAHAL NA ARAW na inyong aantabayanan via LIVE STREAMING.[PAALALA] Manatili lamang po tayo sa…

Posted by Quiapo Church on Monday, March 30, 2020


Manila Cathedral

Our schedule of live stream for the Holy Week Services here at our Mother Church, the Manila Cathedral.

Posted by The Manila Cathedral on Sunday, March 29, 2020


Santisimo Rosario Parish – UST

REMINDERS for our Holy Week and Easter Triduum celebrations.Please be guided accordingly.

Posted by Santísimo Rosario Parish – UST on Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao

Schedule of Holy Week Online Activities in the Diocese of Cubao#CubaoMedia

Posted by Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao on Wednesday, April 1, 2020


San Antonio de Padua Parish – Diocese of Parañaque

Narito po ang schedule ng ating livestream ngayong Semana Santa.Antabayanan po ang karagdagang updates dito sa ating Facebook page. Salamat po!

Posted by San Antonio de Padua Parish – Diocese of Parañaque on Sunday, March 29, 2020


Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church

Tayo po ay magkakaroon ng Online Palm Sunday Mass and Palm Blessing ngayong Linggo at 7am (dito po sa Olmcp FB) na…

Posted by OLMCP – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church, Project 6 on Wednesday, April 1, 2020


National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

¤ RADIO AND ONLINE MASSESSUNDAY5am – DZXL 558khz & Facebook Live 6am – Brigada 104.7 News FM & Facebook Live12nn -…

Posted by National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Tuesday, March 17, 2020


National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus Manila

Posted by National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus Manila on Thursday, April 2, 2020


St. John Bosco Parish, Makati

REVISED SCHEDULE OF HOLY WEEK ACTIVITIES 2020 to be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/sjbmakatiThese activities will be…

Posted by St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City, Philippines on Monday, March 30, 2020


Header photo courtesy of CBCP News Facebook Page

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Read more:

The mass will be televised: Where to stream church service online amid the COVID-19 outbreak

Return of the oratio imperata—what it is and why it’s back

12 of our best recipes you can try for a meat-free Holy Week


TAGS: cbcp covid-19 holy week 2020 kuwaresma online mass palm sunday pope francis vatican