Celebrating Fiesta Señor amid the Covid pandemic

·3 min read

THE Basilica del Sto. Niño announced on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, that five of the annual activities for the Fiesta Señor will be canceled this year due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

These are the Penitential Walk with Jesus, the Penitential Walk with Mary, the Traslacion (the transfer of images of the Sto. Niño de Cebu and the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Cebu from Cebu City to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City), the seaborne procession, first baptism reenactment and the solemn foot procession.

These events will not be observed to prevent mass gathering.

The Basilica also posted on its Facebook page that all novena masses for the 456th Fiesta Señor will be shown live on Facebook, YouTube channel and its other broadcast partners.

The opening activity for the first day of the novena will be the enthronement of the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu. This is scheduled at 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 8. The opening salvo mass (installation of Hermano and Hermana Mayores) will be at 6 a.m. on the same day, followed by eight more mass schedules at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The novena masses for Day 2 until Day 8 (Jan. 9 to 15) will begin at 5 a.m. and end at 6:30 p.m with hour-and-a-half intervals.

On Vespers Day on Jan. 16, the first novena mass schedule will be at 5 a.m., while the last mass will be at 5 p.m. Each mass schedule will also have hour-and-a-half intervals.

Nine masses has been scheduled for fiesta day on Jan. 17, with the first mass starting at 6 a.m. (the solemn pontifical and concelebrated mass). The other schedules are 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and so on until 6:30 p.m.

Mass attendees are reminded to be mindful of Covid-19 health protocols imposed inside the Basilica.

They are required to present quarantine passes or company IDs upon entry. Only those between 15 and 65 years of age will be allowed inside.

They must wear face masks and face shields and wash or sanitize. However, they will not be allowed to carry backpacks.

Their body temperature will be checked at the entrances, while authorities will ensure that physical distancing will be observed.

Mass attendees will have to follow markers or signs in the premises.

Taking of pictures, bringing or selling of balloons and loitering are strictly not allowed.

Mass attendees are reminded to avoid touching images inside the Basilica. They are also advised to receive communion in the hand.

This year’s theme for the Fiesta Señor is “Sto. Niño: The Abiding Presence of the Father in our Journey of Faith.” / WBS