New archbishop to say first mass during Sinulog

THE highlights for this year’s religious celebration of the Sto. Nino feast include the first Pontifical Mass of the new Archbishop of Cebu, Jose Palma.

The theme for the celebration is, “Becoming Witnesses of Hope, Peace and Reconciliation to the devotion to the Sto. Nino.”

Basilica del Sto. Nino spokesperson Fr. Tito Soquino said the same procedures will be followed during the Triduum celebration of the Feast of the Sto. Nino.

“Archbishop Jose Palma will officiate the Pontifical Mass on the Feast Day of the Sto. Nino,” he said.

“He (Palma) might join the procession and follow the same procedure as last year,” he said.

Soquino was referring to the tradition of the Cebu archbishop fetching the image of the Child Jesus from the altar at the basilica and installing this on a waiting carroza before the start of the foot procession on the eve of the feast day.

“That was the suggestion of His Eminence (Ricardo Cardinal Vidal), to continue the tradition. This was also done before him by the previous Carcdinal (the late Julio Rosales),” he said.

“The archbishop of Cebu joins the procession as long as his health permits, the same with the celebration of the Pontifical Mass,” he said.

Included in the nine-day novena masses is an “environment mass.” This is the second time an environment mass will be held at the centuries-old Basilica.

Peace message

The environment mass is in response to the call of Pope Benedict XVI for the people to take care of creation in his World Day of Peace message last year.

“This was carried over by the executive committee. This could be a tradition already, that we will include the environment mass as one of the highlights of the fiesta,” said Soquino.

“Hopefully, with the new archbishop who is also an environmentalist, we are looking forward that he would be supportive of the environment advocacy,” he said.

There will be no changes in the procession on the eve of the feast day, Soquino said.

Soquino said last year’s seven-kilometer route was retained by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

“I think this would be the first time there are no changes in the procession route. There were many devotees who joined the procession (last year). In order to avoid stampede or whatever, no changes will be made,” he said.

“We might expect the same (number of devotees), but remember the rains. La Niña is upon us. I don’t know the resiliency of the devotees,” said Soquino. (BAP/Sun.Star Cebu)

One comment

  1. we must be prepared. bring all gears needed if in case the weather will not cooperate.

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