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Bishops Ask for 'More Fervent' Prayers as COVID Surge Persists

Prayers especially for the Greater Manila Area.
by Arianne Merez
Mar 29, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño
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The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines appealed to the Filipino faithful for "more fervent" prayers as Holy Week begins with the greater Manila area under lockdown.

CBCP President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles made the call as he reminded Catholics in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal of the prohibition on mass gatherings, including religious ones until Easter Sunday, April 4.

"...let us enjoin everybody to intensify our prayers to the Lord, praying among others, the Oratio Imperata and the Mass In Time of Pandemic, if liturgically possible, so that this pandemic will end the soonest," he said in a statement issued on Palm Sunday.

"Let us pray in particular for the people in the archdiocese and dioceses in the NCR and neighboring provinces. Let us ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the fatherly protection of St. Joseph," he added as he appealed for help for those who cannot work during the lockdown.

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For the second year in a row, millions of Filipino Catholics will mark Holy Week indoors due to a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.

The weeklong enhanced community quarantine, which took effect Monday, is set to last until Easter Sunday, April 4.

"Let us not forget those suffering most from this pandemic, especially the poor families and those who lost their daily income in order to put food on the table. Together, let us put our efforts to bring mercy and compassion to them," Valles said.

While religious gatherings remain allowed in areas outside of the greater Manila area, the CBCP  reminded the public to strictly adhere to public health standards when joining church activities.

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"Let us continue to remind our people of the urgency and importance of observing strictly these hygiene protocols every time and everywhere during this pandemic," Valles said.

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