KUCHING, Mar 26: The Catholic Church in Sarawak will celebration the Holy Week via Masses and services broadcast live in social media.
For this year, Palm Sunday falls on Apr 5 and Good Friday, Apr 10.
“Based on guidelines from Rome dated March 20, 2020, the Catholic Bishops of Malaysia will be celebrating the Holy Week without the presence of the faithful in Churches.
“These Masses and services will be live-streamed and broadcasted on Facebook or YouTube,” said Archbishop Simon Poh in a press statement yesterday.
He said on March 16, as Chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS), he had appealed for suspension of Sunday gatherings was sent to all churches throughout Sarawak.
This was aimed at creating a 14-day window to help contain the Covid-19 outbreak by flattening the infection curve.
“It was our hope that that we will be in time to celebrate Holy Week, starting on Palm Sunday on Apr 5 and Good Friday on Apr 10.
“Today, data shows that infection cases are still rising, despite the initial Movement Control Order period. There was insufficient time for symptoms to appear on those already infected.
“At the same time, new clusters were being created at an even faster pace. If this is not mitigated soon, our health and medical facilities will definitely be overwhelmed.
“I believe that for this very reason, our Prime Minister and our Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee are forced to extend the MCO until 14 April 2020,” said Poh.
Throughout the MCO period, he exhorts everyone to consciously to practise social distancing, maintain proper hygiene and hand washing at all time.
“We are also under moral obligation to stay at home to prevent new outbreaks of Covid-19 while the Hospitals respond to the current cases.
“I appeal to all people of good will, from all races, religions and social standing, to share our resources, be kind and be good neighbours to each other. Together, we can overcome the economical, financial and emotional hardships during this MCO period.
“Let us continue to pray for our medical front-liners, for the safety and health of everyone,” said Poh.— DayakDaily