Catholics to celebrate Palm Sunday via internet

PARISHES under the Archdiocese of Cebu will celebrate Palm Sunday on April 5, 2020 without the traditional blessing of palm branches before a huge congregation of churchgoers.

Instead, the blessing of the palms will be done through social media platforms as Holy Masses and other liturgical services will be streamed live from many parishes.

Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili, parish priest of the Mary Help of Christians Parish in Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City, said he plans to broadcast their Palm Sunday service through Facebook.

Though he has not prevented “lukay” sellers from selling outside the church, Balili believes no one will sell palm fronds on Sunday with Cebu City’s Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) still in place.

For his part, Fr. Wendell Balbuena, parish priest of the San Roque Parish in Barangay Linao-Lipata , Minglanilla, has discouraged vendors from selling palm fronds outside the church.

He said this could violate social distancing measures being implemented by the local government unit and the Cebu Archdiocese.

Msgr. Ruben Labajo of the St. Francis de Assisi in Balamban town, meanwhile, said instead of the traditional blessing of palm fronds with holy water by the priest, people can receive their blessings through prayer and by reading scriptures.

“Others can make their own cross using leaves. It’s okay if they can’t form a cross,” Labajo said in Cebuano.

He also urged everyone to watch the live streaming of masses organized by several parishes. (JCT)