Major Sinulog activities in Cebu cancelled over coronavirus

Major Sinulog activities in Cebu cancelled over coronavirus

Devotees raise their hands in prayers during a Mass on the eve of the feast of the Child Jesus at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center in downtown Cebu City on Jan. 19, 2019. PHOTO BY ALREN JEROME BERONIO

By CBCP News

November 10, 2020

Cebu City, Philippines

Fear over the spread of coronavirus has disrupted another big religious event in the country.

Cebu City’s local government and church officials have cancelled major religious activities for the Fiesta Señor in January 2021 due to the prevailing pandemic.

In a joint advisory, the officials said some Sinulog-related events, except the Novena Masses, will not be observed to avoid mass gatherings.

These include:

  • Penitential walk with Jesus on the opening salvo
  • Penitential walk with Mary on the last day of the Novena
  • Traslacion of the images of the Santo Niño and our Lady of Guadalupe from Cebu City to Mandaue City, and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City
  • Fluvial procession and the reenactment of the first baptism, planting of the cross, and first wedding
  • Solemn foot procession
  • Proposed Cebu provincial pilgrimages

“Moreover, there will be no alternative mobility around the city such as motorcades as a substitute for the aforementioned religious activities,” the advisory read.

Authorities said Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu will reschedule the activities to the upcoming 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sto. Niño image in April 2021.

Asking for understanding, they said that necessary precautions have to be taken to protect the health of the devotees.

“Let us keep the Holy Child in our hearts and ask for His everlasting compassion as we heal as one,” they said.

Sinulog is an annual festival in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus every January that draws a mammoth crowd of devotees and tourists flocking to Cebu for religious and civic festivities.

Manila and Quiapo Church officials have earlier cancelled the Black Nazarene procession in 2021, which gathers millions of devotees in Manila every January.

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