Papal Mass celebrating the Holy Sacrifice facing Calvary!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
REMEMBER THE PAPAL TYPHOON MASS IN THE PHILIPPINES? HERE'S A FIRST HAND ACCOUNT!
The comment below was sent to my post about the recent papal Mass of Pope Francis in Tacloban, Philippines. As you will recall, there was a torrential rain and a modified altar was used. It was most unusual. The original post is HERE. But his comment gives us insights from one who was a part of the committee on the liturgy that oversaw the preparations for the Mass:
For us, survivors of typhoon Haiyan (local name:Yolanda) it was a very
emotional experience. I was part of the committee on liturgy that
oversaw the preparations for the Mass; we had prepared everything
according to the guidelines from the Vatican, the only things that we
couldn't control was the weather...the Archdiocese of Palo had issued
the oratio imperata for good weather but the typhoon chose that
particular day to make a landfall.
The initial plan was to have the Mass
indoors in the sacristy tent, it being broadcast ousted to the more
than 200,000 faithful who have gathered the night before (by the time
the Pope arrived we had already endured more than 6 hours of cold rain
and lashing winds). But the Pope insisted on celebrating outside. we
couldn't use the altar done for the occasion because the rain was
practically torrential in that part, so we moved the mass over to one
side of the stage, where the roof was lower. The altar was really heavy,
and so we used the credence table for an altar. But by then the wind
was stronger than before, strong enough to make the sturdy structure
tremble, and all of us--from the Pope down to the last server--drenched
to the bone. the Papal Mass in Tacloban is an interesting case
because of the precedents it made in the history of papal liturgy
outside of Rome: aside from the extreme weather, the Pope elevated the
ciborium instead of just the host, he wore a rainiest over his chasuble,
and communion wasn't given to the faithful during the Mass, but rather
afterwards (and in an orderly fashion), in the tabernacles surrounding
the venue, and in churches the next day, Sunday.
But over and above
all, it was therapeutic for all of us who survived the onslaught of
Haiyan. traumatized as we were, we lost our fear of the rain and the
wind. We realized later on, in retrospect that, having been wounded in a
storm, maybe it was God using a similar experience to heal us
collectively. An hour after the Pope left for Manila, the wind died
down, and the typhoon left us.