No grand procession for feast of Black Nazarene in 2021
In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo, Filipino Roman Catholic devotees in Manila carry the image of the Black Nazarene for a procession to celebrate its feast day.
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

No grand procession for feast of Black Nazarene in 2021

(Philstar.com) - October 23, 2020 - 8:24am

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila city government and Quiapo Church have agreed to cancel the grand procession of the image of the Black Nazarene in January 2021 because of the pandemic, the city government said Friday.

It is the first time that the procession for the image of the Black Nazarene, where millions of barefoot devotees take part yearly, has been cancelled, the city government said in a statement.

Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said that public health protocol must prevail over religious traditions because of the threat posed by COVID-19. 

"Nakikisuyo po ako, iwasan po muna natin ang mga parada at prusisyon ngayong may pandemya dulot ng sakit na COVID-19. Maaari pong mapahamak ang ating mga deboto, mailagay sila sa alanganin," Domagoso says.

(I am asking that we avoid parades and processions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our devotees might get sick, they will be at risk) 

Monsignor Hernando Coronel, Quiapo Church rector, said in the same announcement that the more masses will be held for devotees.

He said that Traslacion 2021 will not include the grand procession from Luneta to Quiapo Church, adding that while he is sad that it has been cancelled, the public needs to follow safety protocol against COVID-19.

"'Yung physical distancing, kailangan naka-faceshield, naka-face mask, kasama ang regular monitoring ng body temperature, lahat ‘yun susundin natin. Hindi lamang ito sa loob ng simbahan, pati na rin sa labas," Coronel said of the masses that will be held instead.

(We will follow physical distancing and people must be wear face shields and face masks. We will also follow the regular monitoring of body temperature. This will not just be for those inside the church but also massgoers outside.)

Domagoso this week said he would sign an executive order to allow more people to go to church, to 30% of seating capacity from a more restricted 10

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