University of St. La Salle

A Call to Prayer and Fasting and Liturgical Guidelines.



1.) CALL TO PRAYER AND FASTING. With the Russian attack on Ukraine last February 25, 2022, the Holy Father has called for "prayer and fasting". In response to this request by Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has issued a 'message of solidarity. 

In this regard, together with the whole Philippine Church, we, in the Diocese of Bacolod, are to observe March 2, 2022, Ash Wednesday, as a day of prayer and fasting in solidarity with the intention of the Holy Father for the people of Ukraine. Attached herewith is the "CBCP Message of Solidarity with Pope Francis' Call to Prayer." 

2.) LITURGICAL GUIDELINES. As we enter the Lenten Season with the observance of Ash Wednesday on March 2, 2022, the Diocesan Commission on Liturgy has released the "Liturgical Guidelines for the Observance of Lent, Holy Week and the Easter Triduum Celebration 2022. 

Please see attached 5-page document and be guided accordingly. 

May we have a meaningful journey together as One Church in the observance of the Lenten Season. 
With my prayers and pastoral blessing, 

CBCP Message of Solidarity with Pope Francis’ Call to Prayer

The CBCP unites itself spiritually with Pope Francis, as he grieves over the quick deterioration of the situation in Ukraine. It is ironic that the Russian attack on the freedom of the Ukrainian people began on the 25th of February 2022, on the day when we celebrated the 36th anniversary of the peaceful restoration of freedom and democracy in the Philippines through people power, after more than a decade of dictatorship. At that time, the Philippines became an inspiration to many other countries that were also aspiring for freedom but were afraid of violence. The citizens of these countries, which were controlled by dictatorships, gradually found the courage to reclaim their freedom; among them was Ukraine. They saw in “people power” the key to a peaceful process of change in society. Now the people of Ukraine, especially our fellow Christians there, are asking for our prayers.

Pope Francis is sensitive to their fears and anxieties for their families and communities, knowing the kind of violence and destruction that war can cause. Nobody is happy about war except those in the arms industries who make huge profits and stand to benefit from the disputes among nations. Dear brothers and sisters, let us therefore join the Holy Father and our brothers and sisters in Ukraine through prayer and fasting on March 2, 2022, Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. The Lord Himself taught us that there is no other way to combat the enticements of the devil especially among those who are obsessed with power, wealth and fame, other than prayer, fasting and acts of charity. (Mt. 4:1-11)

We also invoke the intercession of the Blessed Mother as we pray that the Lord move the consciences of the Russian people so that they themselves will be able to do the necessary steps in order to pressure their government to stop the war it has started. For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines


Taking into consideration the recommendations of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Liturgy and the instructions released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the following liturgical directives have to be observed in the diocese for the observances of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum. All these liturgical instructions of the Church are given due to our extraordinary situation. They are therefore temporary by nature. These instructions should help us find the balance between the worthy celebrations of the Liturgy, the heart of our Christian faith and life, and the safety and welfare of the faithful.

1. We abide by the stringent policy of the Government on “Social Distancing” and the use of face masks during church services. We continue to sanitize our churches every after liturgical celebrations and provide alcohol for the sanitation of our faithful.

2. In the event that religious processions will be allowed:

a. Coordination with local government and Barangay officials is needed.
b. We limit the route of the processions through roads or streets that will allow greater possibility for social distancing.
c. Procession marshals are necessary to maintain the safe distance of the participants of the processions.
d. It is not recommended to use “carosas” or “andas” which need to be carried by people because this will not ensure social distancing of those who carry these flatforms. It is safer to put the images on a motor vehicle instead of those carried by people. We take great care not to give an opportunity for our faithful to congregate outside their homes. These suggestions should be omitted where strict lockdown is enforced.

3. The schedule of the online transmission of these celebrations should be made known to our faithful so they can follow spiritually, these celebrations. Please be reminded that these need to be LIVE telematic broadcasting not recorded.

Diocesan Commission on Liturgy
Diocese of Bacolod
Bishop House | Rizal St. | Bacolod City | Negros Occidental | Philippines 6100


1. Ash Wednesday

a. The formula for the imposition of ashes “Repent, and believe in the Gospel,” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” is said only once “applying it to all in general.”

b. We will revert to the imposition of ashes on the forehead of the faithful.
c. The sprinkling of ashes on the crown will remain an option. We have been reminded last year that this option is an “opportunity to catechize our people on both the penitential and baptismal characters of the Lenten season. In Baptism, we have been anointed on the crown of the head. The ashes to be smeared on the crown signify our repentance from sin, which has marred the grace of Baptism.”

d. For parishes having difficulty to secure old palm branches blessed during the celebration of Palm Sunday last year, dried leaves of plants or trees can be burned for this year’s celebration of Ash Wednesday.

e. We anticipate a large number of people who will come to church for the imposition of ashes. Let us ensure that there are enough ministers and ashes as well as the compliance to health protocols.


2. Penitential Celebrations

a. Via Crucis

• Devotional exercises which harmonize with the Lenten season are to be encouraged, for example the "Stations of the Cross." These devotional exercises should help foster the liturgical spirit with which the faithful can prepare themselves for the celebration of Christ's Paschal Mystery.

• The Communal celebration of Via Crucis can be done with procession outside the Church considering the safety of the faithful and in close coordination with the LGU or Barangay Council.

• In any case, it can be observed inside the church without movement from one station to another.

b. Sacrament of Reconciliation

• It is fitting that the Lenten season should be concluded, both for the individual Christian as well as for the whole Christian community, with a penitential celebration, so that they may be helped to prepare to celebrate more fully the paschal mystery.

These celebrations, however, should take place before the Easter Triduum and should not immediately precede the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. (PS, 37)

• We remind our clergy that we make available the sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance throughout the season of Lent. Our faithful should be informed of the days and the time for Confessions. This will prevent them from coming to the sacrament in great numbers during the Holy Week. We also urge our priests to follow the guidelines we issued for Confessions in the time of the Pandemic. (ECL, 2022)

• The communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will
depend on the preparation and coordination in the parish or

3. Palm Sunday:

a. The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated within the church premises.

b. It is recommended that we use the “Second Form: The Solemn Entrance” but in a modified way. Since the blessing of the Palm branches is in this form, it may be used at the Entrance rite when the presider is already in the sanctuary. The faithful must be seated already or in their places. The priest may also begin the celebration at the door of the church or the church patio. The faithful however will remain in their places. The priest with some ministers will represent the assembly in the act of procession.

c. Saturday Evening Masses, the blessing of palms may take the Third Form of Blessing.

d. When the faithful follow this celebration through online streaming, the blessing of their Palms or any leaf branches is imparted by the Scriptural reading and the prayer of blessing during the celebration. There’s no need of sprinkling of the holy water.

e. For the proclamation of the Passion Narrative, we follow the traditional way, different parts or characters are assigned to different lectors and the priest- presider takes the part of Jesus, each given the proper roles of the characters in the Gospel narration.

4. The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper:

a. The celebration follows the instructions given to us in the Missal.

b. Observing proper sanitation, the washing of the feet may be done during this celebration. Preferably, the number of the persons whose feet are to be washed need not be 12. There can be less than 12 but not more than twelve.

c. We continue the traditional putting up of the Altar of Repose for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

d. Careful organization of the conduct of Visita Iglesia will depend so much on the planning and preparation of the parish or vicariate.

5. Good Friday:

a. The liturgy is the usual Liturgy of the Friday of the Passion of the Lord found in the Roman Missal.

b. The Presider alone will do the kissing in veneration of the Cross. The liturgical ministers and the rest of the faithful will be asked to make a common gesture of adoration of the cross together.

c. A special intention for the Covid-19 victims, doctors and nurses, health workers, the front-liners and those who have died may be added to the Prayers of the Faithful. An intention may also be added for the forth coming National and Local elections.

d. The Proclamation of the Passion Narrative, can be done with the usual three (3) readers.

e. Procession of Pasos:

• The procession of pasos is done after the liturgy of the Friday of the Passion of the Lord.
• The procession of the pasos should be done without the presence of the faithful.
• After the procession, all the pasos will stay in the Church compound for the faithful’s veneration. It is advised the following customary practices should be omitted, i.e., giving or taking of flowers from the pasos, wiping of handkerchief, kissing of the cord attached to the image, touching or kissing of the images.

f. We continue the traditional veneration of the Lignum Crucis and the Sto. Entierro after the procession of pasos. It shall be done without any contact to the images. The gestures of genuflection or a profound bow shall be made

6. Easter Vigil:

a. Since the curfew hours have been lifted, the time of the celebration is set as the Roman Missal requires, after sunset.
b. The “Lucernarium” can be celebrated within the Church compound with a limited attendance of the faithful.
c. The priest may also begin the celebration at the door of the church or the church patio. The faithful however will remain in their places. The priest with some ministers will represent the assembly in the act of procession.
d. The Baptismal liturgy during this time can be done either to adults or children.
e. We retain the blessing of water and the “Renewal of Baptismal Promises”.

7. Encuentro
a. In place of the “Salubong”, a motorcade of the statue of the “Risen Lord” may be brought around the parish, again in strict coordination with the Barangay officials so as to implement social distancing.

Circular Letter No 2022-00520220228_16260678.jpg
CBCP Message of Solidarity with Pope Francis’ Call to Prayer.pdf

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