Photo by Alren Beronio/ESTE News

Catholic priests marked Palm Sunday by going around the streets to bless palm fronds as most areas are under lockdown or strict quarantine due to the threat of the coronavirus.

The move was part of the precaution imposed by church authorities to stem the spread of the virus by avoiding mass gatherings.

Public Masses have been suspended across the country since last month as cases of Covid-19 continued to rise.

In many parishes, photos surfaced online showing priests sprinkling holy water or making the sign of the cross to bless the palm fronds of Catholics waiting outside their homes.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, said liturgical activities this year would be a lot different “but Holy Week must continue.”

He said Catholics in many parts of the world may miss the “externalities” of the celebrations but “this may be a good chance for us to go into the essence of what we are doing.”

“There is always a bright side to what is happening even in this Covid-19 pandemic,” Pabillo said in his homily during a livestreamed Mass from the Manila Cathedral.

The bishop encouraged Catholics to use their time at home to undergo deep reflection and prayer as they unite in the suffering of Jesus.

According to him, the last three weeks have been difficult especially to the country’s poor population.

“Can we also love Him that much in return by offering our sufferings to Him and for our brothers and sisters?” appealed Pabillo.

On April 5, the total number of Covid-19 cases jumped to 3,246, with 152 deaths and 64 recoveries. (CBCP News)