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Pray, Not Play Firecrackers To Welcome New Year – Bishop
December 31st, 2016 | 08:24 AM | 1502 views
Instead of welcoming the New Year with firecrackers, a Catholic prelate has asked the faithful to usher in 2017 by praying.
“We should no longer use firecrackers to welcome the New Year. Be together as a family, pray together, and eat together would be a good way to celebrate the New Year,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that for the Catholic Church, the New Year is a time to remember Mary “as the mother of Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
“Kaya ang bagong taon ay pananalangin para sa kapayapaan. Ano ba ang kapayapaan? Hindi lamang po kawalan ng gusot, ang kapayapaan ay kung nasaan ang katotohanan, katarungan, tunay na paggalang sa buhay at dignidad ng kapwa-tao,tunay na kalayaan at pagmamahalan. Ang kapayapaan ay bunga lamang ng lahat ng iyan, kaya manalangin po tayo sa taong ito at ating isalalay sa kamay ng mahal na ina na nagbigay sa atin ng hari ng kapayapaan ang taong darating,” Tagle said in his New Year message aired over Church-run Radio Veritas. (The New Year is an opportunity for us to pray for peace. What is peace? It is not just the absence of strife. Peace is where truth, justice, respect for human life and dignity, freedom and love are. Peace can only result from all of these. Let us pray for peace and ask Mother Mary to intercede for us this coming year, she who gave us the Prince of Peace.)
Fr. Carmelo Arada of the Archdiocese of Manila Liturgical Commission said January 1 is also the time when we observe the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.
“Spend the first moments of the New Year in thanksgiving and in prayer. We should orient our year with the values of Mary. It is also a day of prayer for peace which is what the world needs right now,” said Arada.
Balanga (Bataan) Bishop Ruperto C. Santos reminded the faithful to regard the brand new year as “God’s gift to us to renew our lives.”
“A new year is a chance for us to straighten our ways and redeem our past. God grants us another year as a fresh start or another chance to correct our mistakes, or rise from our failures and to become better persons,” he said.
“Let us remember to put into actions all our resolutions, to translate into fine deeds all our promises and work harder to make our dreams come true all the days of the coming year. With this in mind, it will truly be a happy new year for each of us,” the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People added.
’CRACKERS TO CHARITY
In the past, Catholic prelates asked the faithful to just give the money that they will spend in buying firecrackers to the poor.
“Convert the ‘crackers into charity,” Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said earlier.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos also issued the same appeal to the faithful.
“What we save from buying firecrackers we give the amount for social services to our parishioners in need,” he said.
Earlier, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial also encouraged the public to use alternative ways in welcoming the New Year and avoid the use of firecrackers by using safe merry-making instruments and alternative noise-makers such as ‘torotot’, car horns, or by playing loud music.
She also urged local government units (LGUs) to foster community firework display.
Last year, the DOH reported a total of 932 cases injuries nationwide from December 21, 2015 to January 5, 2016.
Catholic churches traditionally celebrate New Year’s Eve masses between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to protect churchgoers from the danger posed by firecrackers. In Rome, Pope Francis is scheduled to preside over the First Vespers and the “Te Deum” mass of thanksgiving at 5 p.m. (11 p.m. Manila time) at the Saint Peter’s Basilica.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Leslie Ann G. Aquino and Christina I. Hermoso
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