Papal visit organizers realize that it will be a humongous challenge for everyone to participate fully in the liturgies of Pope Francis when he visits the Philippines from January 16 to 19. This is why they wholeheartedly welcomed the donation of the subscribers of Bayard Presse to print the Pastoral Liturgy Guides for the Apostolic Visit of His Holiness Pope Francis.
Bayard Presse is donating more than 100,000 copies of these liturgy guides and turning them over to the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for proper distribution among the faithful that will attend the different activities of the papal visit. In the Philippines, Bayard is the publisher of Living with Christ, a monthly liturgical tool that is widely used in parishes and schools for Christian formation.
Those who will be unable to get a hold of the limited edition souvenir copies next week, however, should not be saddened as a downloadable version of the official liturgy guides will be available for free via www.livingwithchrist.com.ph.
The official Pastoral Liturgy Guides contains the liturgies and some musical scores for all the papal activities such as the Mass for Priests and Religious (Manila Cathedral, January 16); Encounter of Families (Mall of Asia Arena, January 16); Tacloban Mass, Visit to Palo Cathedral and Blessing of Pope Francis Center (Tacloban, January 17); Encounter with Youth (UST, January 18); and the Culminating Mass of the Sto. Nino (Luneta, January 18).
The Mass for Priests and Religious at the Manila Cathedral that bears the theme of “Mercy and Compassion” will have an additional element—the Confessio Peccati, which aims to illuminate the general theme of the priests and religious being ministers of and witnesses to God’s mercy and compassion.
The Encounter with Families’ Gospel is the flight of the Holy Family, characterized by a threat to life, settling in a foreign land, and uncertainties, gives light to the plight of families today. It highlights the journey of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a source of strength and courage for today’s family that face present-day issues, namely poverty, migration and disability.
The Mass at Tacloban, Blessing of Pope Francis Center and the Visit to the Palo Cathedral will show that the Church is truly both universal and local. The use of local languages at the Mass encourages greater participation of the faithful.
At the University of Santo Tomas, the Encounter with the Youth promises to be an act of love, especially directed to the young people, the future of the Church and the world, replete with their idealism, dynamism and innocence.
Finally, the Concluding Mass during the Feast of the Sto. Nino will mirror the faith that is further enhanced with cultural song and dance. The image of the Sto. Nino will be enthroned before the Mass in celebration of the proper feast. Devotees from the Archdiocese of Cebu will lead the people in accompanying the procession with the Sinulog rhythm and dance.
For Filipino Catholics the Holy Child represents a God who is accessible to all and can be approached without fear. The devotion instills the virtues of simplicity, obedience, and trust in God. At the same time it calls for mature discipleship and loving service for all.
Meanwhile, subscribers of Living with Christ can avail of their free copies of the souvenir liturgy book by calling 927-1052 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students from subscriber schools on the other hand will be given their souvenir copies.
In his foreword, Manila Archbishop Cardinal Tagle emphasized, “Our worship will only have meaning if we have a sustained commitment to the poor even outside the confines of communal worship. Every Eucharist empowers us to work towards healing the brokenness of society.”
CBCP and Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas conveyed a profound gratitude for the liturgists for the Papal Visit headed by Fr. Genaro Diwa and for the donation of the Augustinians of the Assumption and Bayard Presse, publishers of Living with Christ.
“They have labored hard and intensely to make our liturgical celebrations truly channels and instruments of grace,” Villegas added.
Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines welcomed the printing of the papal liturgy books by Bayard Presse and the Augustinians of the Assumption and said, “May it contribute to a more fruitful living of these days of communion with the Vicar of Christ and may it lead all who use it to that goal of every sacramental celebration: ‘A renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ’ (Evagelii Gaudium, 3)”.
Finally, Fr. Bernard Holzer of the Augustinians of the Assumption fervently hopes that this special edition of Living with Christ “may allow the Filipino faithful to accompany the Holy Father in prayer and, with mercy and compassion, bear witness with him to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The office of Living with Christ is located at 17 C. Salvador Street, Varsity Hills, Loyola Heights Quezon City.