IN PHOTOS: Catholics get creative in 1st Holy Week under quarantine

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.

SAFE DISTANCING. In praying in front of Quiapo Church this Holy Week, sitting a meter apart is key for these devotees. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

SAFE DISTANCING. In praying in front of Quiapo Church this Holy Week, sitting a meter apart is key for these devotees.

Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

FERVENT PRAYER. Devotees pray in different positions in front of Quiapo Church on Good Friday, April 10, 2020, as church activities are canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

FERVENT PRAYER. Devotees pray in different positions in front of Quiapo Church on Good Friday, April 10, 2020, as church activities are canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MAUNDY THURSDAY. Father Gilbert Billena, parish priest of San Isidro Parish of Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, brings the Blessed Sacrament in procession  around the community on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MAUNDY THURSDAY. Father Gilbert Billena, parish priest of San Isidro Parish of Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, brings the Blessed Sacrament in procession around the community on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

PABASA. Residents sing the narrative of the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ during the traditional Pabasa in a chapel in Santa Cruz, Manila, on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

PABASA. Residents sing the narrative of the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ during the traditional Pabasa in a chapel in Santa Cruz, Manila, on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

FORGIVENESS. From a safe distance, a priest imparts general absolution, or the forgiveness of sins, to residents of Barangay Villa Maria Clara in Cubao, Quezon City, on Holy Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

FORGIVENESS. From a safe distance, a priest imparts general absolution, or the forgiveness of sins, to residents of Barangay Villa Maria Clara in Cubao, Quezon City, on Holy Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

VIA CRUCIS. A devotee does the Stations of the Cross or Via Crucis inside the San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City on Holy Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

VIA CRUCIS. A devotee does the Stations of the Cross or Via Crucis inside the San Felipe Neri Parish in Mandaluyong City on Holy Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

BLESSED SACRAMENT. Maundy Thursday procession of the Blessed Sacrament Sacrament is held by the San Bartolome Apostol Parish in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija April 9, 2020. Parish priest in Fr. Chito Beltan. Photo by Glenn Mariano

BLESSED SACRAMENT. Maundy Thursday procession of the Blessed Sacrament Sacrament is held by the San Bartolome Apostol Parish in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija April 9, 2020. Parish priest in Fr. Chito Beltan.

Photo by Glenn Mariano

– Rappler.com