The local government of Cebu in the central Philippines has allowed the celebration of the traditional nine-day early morning Mass before Christmas, or “Misa de Gallo,” in churches amid the pandemic.
There will be no “Misa de Gallo,” however, in malls, small chapels, and other venues.
Authorities said minimum health protocols under the “modified general community quarantine,” particularly the 50-percent capacity per venue at one time, will strictly be implemented.
Church leaders in Cebu, meanwhile, said they might hold two dawn Masses as a precaution against mass gatherings.
“There was a suggestion among us that some parishes will have to have two schedules of Misa de Gallo daily to ensure social distancing while accommodating the number of parishioners,” said Father Japheth Geonzon, vice chairman of the Commission on Worship in the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The priest said Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu has instructed priests to comply with guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease and the city government.
He said the archdiocese has been supportive of the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus disease.