The annual religious procession of the image of the Black Nazarene in Davao City will be suspended next year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a media statement released this week, devotees of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno in the Archdiocese of Davao said they are preparing alternative ways of holding the annual observance.
“Just like last year, there will be no foot procession as a precaution to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, in particular the Omicron variant,” read the statement.
Instead of the tradition procession, the devotees said they will organize “spiritual activities” that will ensure the safety of the faithful and “nourish the souls of those who join.”
In their statement, the devotees said that through the religious observance they hope to be able to “unite all devotees and all Catholic faithful in the city under one prayer movement” and “usher in a spiritual renewal.”
In Manila, church leaders earlier announced that the procession of the Black Nazarene in January will be suspended due to threats of COVID-19.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo church, said the decision was in compliance with the rules of the government’s COVID-19 task force.
“As long as the [Inter-Agency Task Force] doesn’t allow it, we will not be able to hold a procession,” said Father Badong.
The city government of Manila earlier broke the news that the “Traslacion” on January 9 remains suspended due to the pandemic.
The decision was made after a consultation between Father Badong and parish leaders and city government officials.
Instead, the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be done through a motorcade in selected areas of Manila.
Like last year, a replica of the image of the black Jesus will also be visiting some provinces where Masses will be held.