Catholic Church

IN PHOTOS: Catholics join Palm Sunday rites before ‘NCR Plus’ lockdown

Rappler
IN PHOTOS: Catholics join Palm Sunday rites before ‘NCR Plus’ lockdown

PALM SUNDAY. Catholics wave palm fronds in front of the Saint Peter Parish in Commonwealth, Quezon City, on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021, the start of the Holy Week.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

At the Saint Peter Parish in Quezon City, candles are attached to empty pews to represent parishioners taking part in Palm Sunday celebrations outside the church or online

Catholics braved the threat of COVID-19 on Sunday, March 28, to have their palm fronds blessed even outside church buildings in Metro Manila a day before a lockdown in the capital region and surrounding provinces.

Wearing face masks and observing physical distancing to protect themselves from COVID-19, they waved their palm fronds as priests sprinkled holy water on them.

FAITH. A Catholic woman goes to Saint Peter Parish in Quezon City to have her palm fronds blessed on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Angie de Silva/Rappler

“I hope and pray this pandemic will end. I hope our (living) conditions will get better, especially since there are a growing number of people going hungry,” Stephane Silva said.

At the Saint Peter Parish in Quezon City, candles were attached to empty pews to represent parishioners taking part in Palm Sunday celebrations outside the church or online.

NO PUBLIC MASSES. Candles light the empty pews at Saint Peter Church along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Angie de Silva/Rappler

Religious gatherings will be banned from Holy Monday, March 29, until Easter Sunday, April 4, to comply with stricter quarantine restrictions the Philippine government reimposed in the capital and nearby provinces to slow the sharp rise in COVID-19 infections.

About 80% of people in the Philippines are Catholic.

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The Philippines is battling a renewed surge in infections, including those of the new and more transmissible variants, prompting the government to tighten existing curbs in the capital and nearby provinces.

Coronavirus cases and deaths in the Philippines totaled 721,892 and 13,170, the second highest in Southeast Asia, with infections reported in the past nine days accounting for a tenth of the total. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com