Congregationless Holy Week on extended MCO

KOTA KINABALU: St Simon Catholic Church Likas rector Fr Cosmas Lee in a sombre manner, Thursday, accepted the decision by the Conference of Bishops in Malaysia after the latter issued a decree on congregationless liturgical celebrations.

“Sadly, this means that there will be no public celebration of Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum, the holiest Week of the year, the Paschal festivities. Let us accept, even with gratitude, our bishops’ decision,” Fr Cosmas said on the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) in his reflection.

“This is not the first time that there is a lockdown for the celebration of the Passover festivity.

“The Lord commanded a lockdown during Passover in Egypt when the Angel of death (plague) passed over the locked doors of the Israelites protected by the blood of the lamb on the door,” he said, citing the passage from Isaiah 26:20.

“In the meantime, our Lenten journey must continue, a journey we can only make successfully following Jesus our Way, Truth and the Life.”

On Wednesday, the bishops issued a pastoral letter following the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the MCO had been extended to April 14.

“This extension unavoidably coincides with the holiest season in our Church’s liturgical Calendar, Holy Week,” the statement issued jointly by the (arch)bishops of the three archdioceses and six dioceses of Malaysia said.

In view of the extended MCO restrictions and prohibitions of public gatherings, the liturgical celebrations until April 14, including Holy Week, “will be done without the congregation by the priests of the various arch/dioceses”.

“Although you have been patiently waiting and praying for a resolution to this present crisis, we humbly ask you to wait a little longer.

“Let us continue to plead for God’s mercy, make reparation for our sins and ask for His intervention, not only for ourselves but also those who have been affected by this pandemic, the frontline health professionals and security personnel and all those who continue to ensure that our essential services and supply lines are open and available,” the statement said, adding the faithful should trust in God’s Providence like Mother Mary in line with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

It also stated that the Conference of Bishops in Malaysia agreed to adopt the liturgical norms included in the pastoral letter.

Download the full message from the Conference of Bishops in Malaysia below:

At a glance: The Liturgical and Pastoral norms during Holy Week. Click image to enlarge.

Visit the KK Archdiocese website and Catholic Sabah social media for updates:

  • Amended on March 27, 2020

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