MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 06 June) – Weddings and baptisms are supposed to be merry events. But that may no longer be the case in churches around the Diocese of Malaybalay with the restrictions on attendance.
In a directive issued last May 31, the diocese ordered limiting the number of people who may attend or witness these rites to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
For weddings, the individuals inside a church or a big chapel should not exceed 50. If a chapel could not accommodate this number based on physical distancing norms, only 10 persons should be allowed. These include the bride, groom, their parents, the priest and lay ministers or sacristans.
With the consent of the bride and groom the priest may only perform the marriage rites and omit the mass on the wedding day itself. The couple may just hear mass the next Sunday to shorten the stay of many people inside the churches, the directive said.
For baptisms, depending on the size of a church and still following physical distancing protocols, only a maximum of 10 children would be allowed, it said.
Parishes will schedule the baptisms on a first come, first served basis. But parents may agree among themselves if they wish to swap schedules, it said.
During the baptism rites only the parents, one godfather and one godmother for each children would be allowed. If there are more than two godparents, their names will still be listed in church records but they won’t be permitted to enter the church, it added.
The directive however allowed parish priests to hold baptisms on days other than Sundays. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)