The Catholic Faithful are counting only a couple of days for Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines! And as of this writing, he had arrived in Sri Lanka where, among other things, His Holiness will canonize an Indian saint.
How do we prepare ourselves for his visit? Here’s all we need to know in one go:
Since the faithful are expected to welcome His Holiness, and given that this is an announced non-working holiday for Metro Manila, road closures will take effect starting Thursday, Wednesday for some. Details here. Likewise, as he visits Palo, Leyte, there will be road closures and rerouting. Details of Tacloban-Palo rerouting, which will take effect starting January 16 here.
THE LITURGY for the Mass at Quirino Grandstand: Download here. The copy of the liturgy was produced by Bayard Presse, an international publishing company sponsored by the Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists). Since limited printed copies are made available, the faithful are encouraged to download or print this copy for their use during the January 18 Concluding Mass of the Pope.
THE LITURGICAL MUSIC: Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ was commissioned by Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President, Archbishop Soc Villegas, to compose what is now known as the Mass of Mercy and Compassion. The text is set to seven languages, and the scores are made available for download through this link, while study guides are available here, as recorded by the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Is it coincidence that a Francisco composed this music for the good Pope Francis? Maybe it’s Divine Intervention, who knows!
REMINDERS, REMINDERS, REMINDERS! Someone said to me that the cure for forgetfulness is a gentle reminder. Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, gives out several reminders for those who will take part in welcoming the People’s Pope, whether as volunteer, part of the liturgy, greeter, expectator. Watch the reminders for the Papal Visit here.
THE VISIT’S THEME SONG. Filipinos are well known for creating theme songs for everything. Since Filipinos are a very musical culture, it is but fitting that a song would forever remind us of Pope Francis’ visit. We are all God’s Children was created with that in mind, in which lyrics remind us why the Pope so wanted to visit our country–to bring the message of mercy and compassion, especially the victims of the typhoon two years ago, one of the highlights of his visit. Learn the song and hand actions in the video.
If we can recall, 20 years ago already, Tell the World of His Love still rings a bell, or a tune in our heads, in memory of Saint John Paul II’s (then Pope John Paul II) visit to Manila for the World Youth Day celebration.
Now we’re ready, we’re set, then let’s go welcome the Pope on Thursday! Whether you’re setting foot to where he is or not, check out the tips here so you could better prepare yourselves physically and spiritually (and musically!) for this rare event. If anything, I am just touched that the popes remember to visit our country. That’s why I look forward to his visit, and hopefully, get a glimpse of him in person, far or near.