CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, June 4 (PIA) -- The Archdiocese of San Fernando announced guidelines for parishes under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Archbishop Florentino Lavarias said the guidelines are in strict compliance with the minimum public health standards stated by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
"These guidelines are issued due to our extraordinary situation. They are intended to preserve and continue religious services, while at the same time preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease," Lavarias said.
As part of the general preventive measures, only those aged 21-59 years old will be allowed to attend religious activities in churches. Body temperature of those who will attend the church will be checked and wearing of face mask and physical distancing should be observed at all times.
Holy Mass Admission Pass will be issued to pre-determined people depending on the capacity of each parish and only those bearing these will be allowed to enter.
"Identity forms will be filled up by churchgoers for contact tracing. There will be alcohol dispensers and foot baths at all church entrances, and disinfection will be done after every service," the archbishop said.
Only the priest, child, parents and two witnesses will be allowed for baptism while only the priest, couple and their immediate family, and two witnesses, will be allowed inside the church during weddings. For both sacraments, no more than 10 persons will be allowed inside.
"Parishes must forego all scheduled mass confirmation this year. In case of need, only two godparents are allowed and this will be administered by a priest," Lavarias said.
For parishes with mortuaries, wakes should be limited to three days and two nights only; however, wake for COVID-19 victims are not permitted. There will also be no funeral or wake mass, but only funeral blessing from a priest.
Prayer meetings and processions are also not allowed.
The archbishop said these guidelines will take effect immediately, except for the Sunday obligation which is dispensed until the end of June. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)