Legazpi diocese imposes strict social distancing in all church services
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The Diocese of Legazpi issued Sunday, March 15, guidelines requiring strict social distancing and hygienic protocol in all baptismal, wedding and funeral services under its jurisdiction.
The diocese administers over all Roman Catholic churches in the province of Albay.
Bishop Joel “Bong” Z. Baylon released the guidelines during the online mass Sunday aired over the Diocese-run radio station, Radio Veritas of Legazpi.
The guidelines barred from attending to either of the 3 services those who travelled from Metro Manila or " any other place outside of the Bikol Region where COVID-19 has been determined as present."
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
"The bride and the groom should have been in the vicinity of the Bicol Region for at least 2 weeks, and should not have travelled to Manila or any place outside the Bikol Region, in order that the wedding ceremony be allowed," said the directive.
The ban extends to the wedding entourage (principal & secondary sponsors, maid of honor, best man, etc), guests and those involved in planning the event.
Baylon's directive said: "The entire wedding entourage (photographers included) shall not be more than 20 individuals, and should observe hygienic protocol and the required social distancing, i.e., at least 1 meter away from the nearest person."
Baptisms will only be held with 5 babies/candidates, the respective parents and godparents. Only one or two sponsors will be allowed.
Only "parents may stay near the child, the sponsors shall keep the required distance."
As for funerals, only a maximum of 20 persons will be allowed to attend.
Earlier, the diocese suspended all masses in Albay. The churches remain open to the public, with social distancing in place.
Online masses will be regularly available through Radio Veritas.
As for penitential rites, absolutions and confessions are also scrapped. – Rappler.com