It seems we’ve gone back to the Holy Weeks of yesteryear, when malls and restaurants were closed and there were hardly any cars on the road. The big difference is that, this year, we’re observing social distancing alongside the Passion of Christ, so the usual rituals are a no-go.
The good news is you don’t have to miss out on the Good News, even if you are just staying home. You can still catch the Holy Week rites online — from the Vatican and the Pope himself, no less! Below is the Vatican’s Holy Week schedule as well as ways to go on visita iglesia and the Stations of the Cross from home.
Masses and Vigils
The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
- April 9 (Thursday), 6pm / Rome
- April 10 (Friday), 12am / Manila
The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
- April 10 (Friday), 6pm / Rome
- April 11 (Saturday), 12am / Manila
Way of the Cross
- April 10 (Friday), 9pm / Rome
- April 11 (Saturday), 3am / Manila
Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
- April 11 (Saturday), 9pm / Rome
- April 12 (Sunday), 3am / Manila
Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection
- April 12 (Sunday), 11am / Rome
- April 12 (Sunday), 5pm / Manila
If the spirit is willing to stay up but the flesh is weak, you can also catch live streams of the Holy Week services of local churches at friendlier hours. Check out the Manila Cathedral, Quiapo Church and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao on their respective Facebook pages.
Go on an interactive tour of local churches from your sofa. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has now made its online visita iglesia — previously intended for Filipinos overseas — available to everyone. The visita iglesia is a Holy Week practice wherein the faithful make the rounds of churches (traditionally seven to 14) and pray before the Blessed Sacrament at each stop.
The website features 360-degree views of 14 churches, including the San Agustin Church in Manila, Barasoain Church in Bulacan and the Fort Santa Isabel Chapel in Palawan.
Stations of the Cross
Bonifacio Global City (BGC) has been a Holy Week hotspot for families due to its outdoor Stations of the Cross, a series of 14 photos depicting Jesus’ last day on earth and accompanying prayers. (It is often done together with the visita iglesia.) This year, BGC, in cooperation with Without Walls Ministries and The Bridge School Manila, brings its interactive Stations of the Cross online. The website features images, reflections, prayers and an audio guide, as well as a map for kids to make it easier for them to follow along.