8 Photos That Show What Going to Church Looks Like Under GCQ

With the first week of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in effect in Metro Manila (as of June 1, 2020), a sense of normalcy is gradually returning: salons will open again on June 7, EDSA traffic is back, and yes, you can go to church again—but with a little extra effort.

reportr visited Quiapo Church during its First Friday Mass on June 5, 2020 and captured snapshots of what will be the new normal for churchgoers. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released guidelines for liturgical celebrations under the "new normal," and these include the following, among others:

  •  Anyone below 21 years old, those 60 years old and above, or those with health risks/are pregnant should stay at home. This is in accordance with the IATF-EID guidelines (Inter-Agency Task Force For The Management Of Emerging Infectious Diseases).

  • Everyone should wear masks, including the attendees, priests, and lay ministers. The CBCP guidelines stated, however, that the priest should not wear a mask or gloves during the celebration of the Mass. "Instead, he should remain more than 1 meter from the congregation during the Mass. In such circumstances, there is no substantial risk of infection."

  • Strict social distancing will be observed, with the help of pew markers.

  • Thermal scanning, foot baths, and hand sanitizers should be available.

  • Holy Communion will only be distributed via hands.

  • People should not hold hands during "The Lord's Prayer" and Sign of Peace.

For more information, visit "Recommendations and Guidelines For The Liturgical Celebration In 'New Normal' Condition."

View our exclusive photos below for a visual interpretation of some of the abovementioned guidelines:

First Friday Mass was held again in Quiapo Church on June 5, 2020 after almost three months. Jerome Ascano
Since only 10 at a time are allowed inside the church during Holy Mass, people waited patiently outside for their turn, while still observing social distancing. Jerome Ascano
Church attendees need to go through a misting tent for disinfection. Jerome Ascano
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Each person's temperature is checked before entering the church. Alcohol is also provided to sanitize the hands. Jerome Ascano
The floor has markers to indicate where people should stand, to remain physically distant from each other. Jerome Ascano
Everyone is required to wear a medical face mask, to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. Jerome Ascano
10 people at a time are allowed to hear Mass inside the church. In Quiapo Church though, those who only prefer to pray (not attend Mass) will be allowed inside. The maximum capacity for those who want to pray is 50 people at a time (with a 10-minute turnover). Jerome Ascano
The pews are disinfected routinely: before people sit, and after they leave. Jerome Ascano
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