ASIA/PHILIPPINES – The bishops encourage the faithful to physically return to Mass in churches

ASIA/PHILIPPINES – The bishops encourage the faithful to physically return to Mass in churches

Friday, October 14, 2022

Manila (Agency Fid Social circles thronged to mass on weekdays at 5 a.m., before going to work. During the pandemic, much to everyone’s dismay, such worship services were not possible and streaming worship was was organized in the Archdiocese of Manila, as in many other dioceses.Previously, in March 2020, the bishops had expressly exempted the faithful from attending Sunday services and called them to participate in the Eucharist through various media channels.
Two years later, the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines released today, October 14, an open letter to Catholics in the country encouraging them to resume their regular Sunday Mass attendance and physical presence in churches. It is recalled that “this painful and sad moment of renunciation of the sacramental experience made us rediscover the necessity of liturgical life in the Church”. In the Christian life “the corporeal and material domain cannot be left aside” because “Jesus Christ himself became flesh for our salvation”.
Today, the bishops want a return to “the normality of Christian life, in which the church building is the place for liturgical celebrations, in particular the Eucharist”. All the baptized, they say, “are called to take an active part in the celebration and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist with devotion and frequency, and also to celebrate divine service with devotion.”
For this reason, the bishops encourage the faithful to “return to the Sunday Eucharist with a purified heart, with interior renewal, with a strong desire to encounter the Lord and to remain with him”, while it is only in special cases that dioceses will decide if and how they offer streaming. “No radio or television broadcast can compare or replace direct personal participation,” the Bishops say, as the media “disconnects us from our neighbor and from the intimate and personal encounter with God incarnate.” “Physical contact with the Lord” is vital for believers, “it is indispensable and irreplaceable”, says the text. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 14/10/2022)


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