This year’s Procession of the Passion of Our Lord, the God Jesus has been cancelled “in view of he continuing [novel coronavirus] epidemic and the call of public health precautions,” the chancery of Macau’s Roman Catholic diocese announced on Tuesday.
The procession had been slated for February 29 to March 1.
According to a statement received by the Macau Post Daily from the chancery this afternoon, the diocese has decided to prolong a string of COVID-19 epidemic prevention measures. All public Masses and other liturgies in parishes and communities continue to be suspended, including the Ash Wednesday Liturgy, until March 6.
“Churches will remain closed,” the statement said, adding: “The faithful are advised to minimise participation in outdoor activities and gatherings.”
The statement also noted that “the regular live broadcasting of Masses online will continue (www.catholic.org.mo).”
The statement also said that “all faithful having reached the age of 14 should observe abstinence on Ash Wednesday [February 26], while the faithful from the age of 18 to 59 should also observe fasting.”
According to the statement, the employees of the diocese may resume work “on Thursday (February 20) following the directions of the respective department heads.”
According to unofficial estimates, there are about 35,000 Catholics in Macau, or around 5 percent of the population. Most Macau residents are understood to adhere to a blend of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.