With the country now mostly under GCQ and MGCQ, those that missed attending Sunday Mass can now physically do so. But with churches only allowed to accept a limited number of people, not everyone will be able to hear Sunday Mass. As an alternative, some attend Sunday service via TV Mass, or through digital means.
In Tacloban City, however, a local parish was able to set up a unique way of holding Sunday Mass without violating safety protocols. Instead of having churchgoers physically going to church, the St. Josemaria Escriva Mission Station put up a 'drive-in Mass'.
Called “Park and Attend the Mass”, this unique setup allows Mass-goers in Apitong Village to stay in their car while attending mass every Sunday at 6:00 PM. Think of it like going to a drive-in cinema, only you'll hear the gospel and hear homily every week.
“The drive-in mass is just an additional schedule of St. Josemaria Escriva Mission Station to accommodate those who cannot attend the mass inside the church due to immune compromise or those who are not qualified for QR (quick response) coding,” said Rev. Father Kim Margallo of the mission station parish.
Margallo added that they may have to add another schedule for drive-in Masses if ever some of the parishioners will not be able to attend the 6:00 PM schedule.
With Leyte already under MGCQ, churches in the province have already opened their doors for churchgoers who wish to physically attend Mass. But with some still afraid to go to Mass due to the pandemic, having a drive-in Mass means people can maintain physical distancing while in the safety of their vehicles.
“Now is the right time since people are afraid to go to mass for the fear of close contact yet they are hungry for the message,” added Margallo.
This is not the first time a parish has thought about holding a Mass via drive-in. Other parishes in countries like the US, France, and Mexico, have already put up similar drive-in gatherings. While this set up may not be as solemn, at least it maintains physical distancing between churchgoers.
Should churches in Metro Manila and elsewhere also hold this type of Mass? Perhaps, but with confirmed cases still on the rise, strict health protocols must be followed always.