KUCHING, April 3 — During Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, no Masses or services are held with the congregation as many churches in Sarawak are in Covid red and orange zones, said Association of Churches Sarawak (ACS) Chairman Archbishop Simon Poh.
Nevertheless, he expressed gratitude to Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) for allowing churches in red and orange zones to hold Masses or services for a maximum of 20 assigned church leaders during Holy Week.
“This is so that on our Most Holy Week, churches will not be shut and prayers may be offered to celebrate Palm Sunday, the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, commemorate Jesus’s death on Good Friday, celebrate Christ’s Resurrection on Vigil and Easter Sunday in this time of the pandemic,” he said in his Easter message yesterday.
Poh pointed out that designated church leaders represent the congregation in praying and interceding before God during the sacred Holy Week.
He said all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus.
“What we are doing is create safety bubble for each person in Church with one person seated at same seat throughout the service with physical distancing in place to minimise points of contact — so no commonly used hymn books, or physical handshakes.
“We seek to minimise time together by keeping to around one hour,” he explained while encouraging Christians to follow Masses or services online either through live streaming or at a later time for those with slower 3G connectivity.
“Sunday readings and prayers are also available in printed form so families can pray together or rural villagers in green or yellow zones can gather in small groups at village chapels,” he added while urging families to believe with open hearts and welcome Lord Jesus into their homes during online Masses or services.
“On behalf of the Catholic Church in Sarawak, Bishop Joseph Hii of Sibu, Bishop Richard Ng of Miri, Kuching Archbishops Emeriti Peter Chung and John Ha, priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, I would like to wish you a blessed Easter Triduum,” he concluded. — Borneo Post Online