Undas online to pray for loved ones in the Philippines
by Kenneth Corbilla

Undas Online, which is now in its ninth year, was initially created for seafarers and those who work overseas and cannot commemorate the deaths of their loved ones.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has relaunched its "Undas" online website, Mgr Pedro Quitorio, director of the CBCP Media Office, announced. Undas is a Tagalog word that refers to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

This stems from the fact that, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Mass and other religious services have been celebrated online.

Many parishes stopped celebrating Mass open to the public, and opted instead to use social media to continue spreading the Good News of Salvation during these hard times in people’s lives.

Undas Online, now in its ninth year, was initially set up for seafarers and those working overseas who could not commemorate the death of their loved ones at home.

Its purpose was to allow people to request Mass offertory for the souls of their dearly departed. Now, after its relaunch, "Online Masses will be streamed from different places,” Mgr Quitorio said.

The Undas website added some features related to COVID-19 and virtual experiences in celebrating Undas. For example, candle can be lit whilst praying for loved ones who have departed, Mgr Quitorio said.

Audio and video reflections have also been added to the website for a very meaningful celebration at home.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government recently announced the lock down of public cemeteries from 29 October to 4 November, to prevent the spread of COVID-2019.

To this end, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, is encouraging the faithful to take part and listen to Masses, whilst observing the proper guidelines and protocols provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

These guidelines include physical and social distancing and a 10 per cent limit on the total capacity of churches.

In the teachings of the Catholic Church, the whole month of November is offered to pray for the souls in purgatory as an indulgence-giving devotion.