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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – While Masses remain suspended due to the novel coronavirus that has hit thousands in the country, there is no stopping Catholics from performing their Holy Week rituals one way or another.
What used to be done inside jam-packed churches – such as Maundy Thursday processions of the Blessed Sacrament (which Catholics believe to be the body of Christ) – have been brought out into the empty streets.
The traditional Pabasa, which is literally translated to “reading” – that is, the hours-long reading and singing of the Passion of Christ – have also been done in other communities, but with face masks and physical distancing.
Live online Holy Week services, of course, became the norm this Holy Week in this predominantly Catholic country. (Watch the Maundy Thursday Mass, Good Friday service, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Masses aired by Rappler this week.)
Holy Week may be different this year, but it is here.