While traditionally known as dawn Masses, Misa de Gallo will now also be celebrated at night at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Tagbilaran City to divide the number of churchgoers and allow them to observe social distancing amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the province.
Fr. Alger Paña of the Diocese of Tagbilaran said that priests at the Cathedral, one of the most visited churches in the province, have agreed to hold Misa de Gallo both at 8 p.m. and the traditional 4 a.m.
“This is to decongest the number of people attending the dawn Masses,” he said.
The same measure may also be adopted by other churches across the province.
According to Paña, churches and chapels in other localities were also directed by the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon led by Bishop Abet Uy and Bishop Daniel Parcon, respectively, to also come up with other protocols to accommodate churchgoers without congestion during the dawn Masses which are widely popular among the Catholic faithful.
“Ang tuyo niini sa obispo ug mga kadagkuan sa diocese na dili maghuot ang manimbahay,” Paña said.
Meanwhile, the provincial government and the local government unit of Tagbilaran City have allowed the conduct of dawn Masses during the nine days leading to Christmas from December 16 to 24 even while the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the province remained in place.
Paña said that strict health protocols will be observed inside churches.
Body temperature of churchgoers will be checked and they will also be required to register using contact-tracing forms.
The Church official also called on the elderly and those who feel sick to skip the dawn Masses and pray at home.
“Atong gi hanyo ang mga senior citizens naa naay mga gibati, gipang sip-on, gipang ubo, galain ang lawas dili g’yud nato awhagon na mo simba kay makahatag og laing impression ning mag ubo-ubo unja risgo pud sa ilang panglawas,” he said. (A. Doydora)