The Traslacion ng Mahal na Poong Nazareno originally set to take place early in January next year was called off last week, according to the Manila City government.
In lieu of the procession, more masses will be held, according to church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel. According to Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, monitors will be installed at the entryways of the church to allow devotees to watch the masses through the screens.
He added that the celebration will be “localized” by encouraging churches across the country to hold novena masses. In areas with less incidences of Covid19, motorcades may be permitted.
The church also mulled displaying the Black Nazarene image as early as December so that devotees could see it, but no touching is allowed. They are also looking to bring images of the Nazarene around churches north and south of Manila, from Batangas to Quiapo and Pangasinan to Quiapo.
Another tradition that may need to be foregone is walking barefoot, in order to avoid the possibility of droplets sticking devotees’ feet.
The fate of the feast of the Black Nazarene was decided between the city chief Mayor Isko Moreno and Quiapo Church officials, after weighing the consequences of pushing through with it amid the pandemic.
Photo: Philippine Star