Anticipating to celebrate our liturgy in the ‘new normal’ condition
Circular No. 20-38
18 May 2020
We eagerly await the time in the “New Normal” condition when we will be allowed to celebrate our liturgy, especially the Holy Eucharist, with our faithful in attendance. We approach this phase of our life as church with the wise thought of our Holy Father who said “At this time, when indications have been given to start coming out of quarantine, we pray that the Lord will grant to His people, to all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to these indications, so that the pandemic will not return” (Pope Francis’ Homily at Casa Santa Marta, April 28, 2020).
Indeed, we need the Lord – the Bread of Life – in the Holy Eucharist! The Holy Eucharist is central and essential to the life of the Church and to the life of each individual believer. It is in this context that we understand our people’s desire to return to the parishes, participate in the liturgy, and receive the Eucharist.
In anticipation of that time, the CBCP has recently released on May 16, 2020, a new set of Recommendations and Guidelines for the Liturgical Celebration in “New Normal” Condition. This is the official set of guidelines proposed to all bishops as they make their own particular pastoral decisions and course of action for their respective dioceses.
During these days, we may hear of some guidelines from the government and health authorities regarding our conduct of worship. They may at first come across as impractical or without sense to us. In this scenario, I believe that the way forward is to patiently ask and seek clarification from the source of these guidelines. It is good to remind ourselves that these guidelines are meant not only for the Catholic Church but for all men and women and communities of faith who practice different modes of worship and prayer.
My sincere thought is, may we try to take the lead in showing the spirit of patience, calmness, understanding, open communication and cooperation in these very trying times as we continue to patiently present our particular concerns to the proper authorities. Again, we take to heart what Pope Francis said “At this time, when indications have been given to start coming out of quarantine, we pray that the Lord will grant to His people, to all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to these indications, so that the pandemic will not return”.
May our Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Church, continue to accompany us as we fervently pray for each other, for our nation, and for the world.
Archbishop of Davao