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Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday of the Palms

I went with Frs Nicholas and Francis to the Vatican square this morning to experience a Palm Sunday Mass celebration with the Pope.

It was a very grand and colorful affair with the huge crowds contributing to the solemnity of the celebration. The Collegio also had our Palm Sunday celebration at 7.30 am but I wanted to see how and what the celebration was in the Vatican this year instead.

I wasn't disappointed. The Mass began promptly at 9.30 am with the readings of the entry into Jerusalem, the palms in the crowd (in Vatican) abouDSC_0567nding and held aloft everywhere (including mine!). However, the palms were mostly olive branches, which were distributed out earlier. That followed with the procession by the Pope and the rest of the altar servers, priests, bishops and cardinals to the main altar for the next portion of the Mass proper.

The entire gospel reading was sung by three deacons and it was quite truly inspiring to have the passion narration of Matthew done this way. It helped that the deacons sung well ;-)

The rest of the Mass when on well and despite the long hours that it took to finish the whole thing (2.5 hours), it was a whole morning well spent. Certainly, nothing beats the real thing when you are really there and feeling the real beat and pulse of this kind of celebration with the Pope in the flesh! ;-) Meanwhile, the report on the Pope's homily can be found here and the video below shows our antics at the Palm Sunday Mass! (well, at least the beginning, at the closing and the 'waveby' of the Pope) Never mind the commentary in Bahasa, though. It was done for the fans of Fr Nick back at Sabah... :-D

(more pics here!)

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