Bishop Joey Baylon of Legazpi announced that Catholic cemeteries in the diocese will all be closed on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day to avoid the influx of people.
The bishop said he decided to close all Catholic cemeteries from October 30 to November 3 as COVID-19 cases in the region continue to be “alarming.”
“I deem it prudent to implement the closure of all the Catholic cemeteries in the diocese … except of course for burial,” said Bishop Baylon in a circular dated October 9.
He asked the faithful to instead visit their departed loved ones before or after All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“I highly advise that visits must not be done in groups to avoid congregating in the cemeteries,” he said.
He also reminded priests that Masses and other pastoral services are not allowed in the cemetery “during these critical times.”
“All Masses are to be celebrated in the churches,” said the bishop.
He also said parishes may reproduce the “Novena Prayer for the Dead” and make it available to their parishioners.
Millions of Catholics traditionally visit cemeteries to offer prayers for their departed loved ones on November 1 and 2.