Gozo Diocese publishes guidelines for village feasts

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The college of archpriests within the Diocese of Gozo have published a set of guidelines aimed at informing the public on how the village feasts will be celebrated this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidelines were sent to all parishes on the sister island. The feasts this year will only be celebrated subjected to certain restrictions as well as other advice or restrictions issued by the health authorities. The village feasts may only be held if authorities lift the ban on social gatherings.

The guidelines regulate the liturgical celebrations organised by the parishes. However, a reference is made to the external celebrations.

The thanksgiving pilgrimage with the statute of the village saint will be held in the evenings. This will be a scaled down event. Only praying and singing of religious hymns will be allowed during the pilgrimage which will pass from the streets used during the feast.

The Gozitan archpriests have agreed that no external activities will take place. While external decorations will be allowed on streets, the archpriests have agreed that no brass band will be allowed to play on the street. The use of a sound system has also be banned.

Parishes and religious communities should not buy fireworks or shall refrain from organising fireworks. A ban on donating directly or indirectly to fireworks was also issued.

Village bands disagree

The Għaqda Każini tal-Baned representing the village bands said it disagreed with the set of guidelines issued to the parishes and has requested a meeting with the Diocese of Gozo. The organisation said that it will respect all the measures issued by the health authorities.

The organisation highlighted the role of the village bands in tradition and culture. This goes back to he 19th Century, it said.

Għaqda Każini tal-Baned underlined that if the Church would allow external activities, then bands should be allowed to participate in the festivities too, once the health authorities greenlight such events.

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