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Only 400 persons per Mass allowed in Quiapo Church on Nazarene feast

Only 400 persons per Mass allowed in   Quiapo Church on Nazarene feast

Devotees attend Mass at the Quiapo Church in Manila on Jan. 5, 2021. PHOTO FROM QUIAPO CHURCH

By CBCP News

January 6, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Quiapo Church has imposed a 400-person limit on Mass attendance for Saturday’s feast of the Black Nazarene.

The decision is still in line with the government’s protocol, which allows seating capacity to 30 percent for religious services in areas under the general community quarantine.

Fifteen Masses will be held on Jan. 9, which means that 6,000 people will be able to enter the church the whole day.

Alex Erasga of the Traslacion 2021’s technical working group said other devotees can still attend the Mass outside the church.

He said that LED screen stations will be set up on Quezon Boulevard and in the streets of Carriedo, Carlos Palanca, and Villabos.

“Markers will be placed to maintain physical distancing of at least one meter,” Erasga said.

Mass services in Quiapo Church will begin at 4:30 a.m. and will be presided over by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Manila archdiocese.

The last Mass will be at 10:15 p.m., to be presided by Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of Quiapo Church.

To limit crowd, he said that Masses will also be held at the nearby Sta. Cruz Church, San Sebastian Church and the Nazarene Catholic School.

Last October, church and city officials cancelled the annual procession of the Black Nazarene as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to afflict the country.

Millions of devotees join the “traslacion” from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church every year, hoping to see and touch the centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus.

To decongest Quiapo on the feast day, the church decided to “localize” the celebration by bringing replica images of the Black Nazarene to different dioceses.

The image of the Black Nazarene has also been on display at the balcony of Quiapo Church since Christmas to allow people to see it.

Quiapo Church has also launched a mobile app to reach out to more devotees.

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