The Bishops of the Philippines have published a letter to encourage the faithful to resume face-to-face participation in Eucharistic celebrations after the years of pandemic.
Newsroom (October 19, 2022, 9:10 PM, Gaudium Press) With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Diocese of Manila, as well as other dioceses in the Philippines, made internet broadcasting of Masses available since the faithful could not go to churches.
The diocese even published a letter in March 2020 excusing the faithful from “face-to-face” fulfillment of the Sunday precept during the isolation period and advising remote participation via the media.
However, last October 14, the Diocese of Manila published a letter encouraging the faithful to resume attending Holy Mass in person.
Indeed, in many communities it has been observed that the faithful find it difficult to return to face-to-face Masses, even though protective measures against the coronavirus have been reduced.
Return to the normality of celebrations in person
The letter evokes the “corporal and material” aspect of Christian life and invites the faithful “to the normality of Christian life that makes the church building the place of liturgical celebrations, in particular of the Eucharist.”
The text also recalls the need for active participation during the sacrifice of the Mass in order to “receive the sacrament of the Eucharist with devotion and frequency.”
In this way, the Bishops encourage the faithful to return to the path of the churches: “No radio or television broadcast is comparable to direct face-to-face participation or can replace it,” the missive continues.
In closing, the letter explains that spiritual communion – which can be made when someone is prevented from participating in person at Mass – is a “devotional prayer, not a liturgical one, and cannot normally replace the manducation of the Body and Blood of Christ.”
Dioceses in the Philippines will determine whether to continue internet broadcasts of Masses and under what conditions they will do so.(FM)
With information from Fides.
Compiled by Zephania Gangl