MANILA — A slight change marks the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene this Friday. The mass before the procession, usually held in the morning, will be conducted at midnight of Thursday.
Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, Quiapo Church rector, said the change will make devotees to be more focused on the mass that would be held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
In a press conference on Monday at the Quiapo Church, Ignacio said the usual 6:00 a.m. mass during the feast is immediately followed by the procession participated in by millions of devotees.
“Para taimtim yung pagbibigay ng pagdarasal sa loob ng misa para pagdating ng procession ang concentration ng mga tao nasa procession na. Kasi kung ang misa ay kasunod ay procession, nahahati ang tao,” he said.
The Catholic priest said they also want to avoid the mass being disrupted, as experienced last year during the mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
Ignacio said a vigil at the Quirino Grandstand will also be held from sundown Thursday to Friday dawn.
Adjustments have also been made in the grandstand as the altar will be moved forward, away from the bleachers area because of the presence of the scaffolding in preparation for the scheduled mass of Pope Francis on January 18.
Ignacio said the “pahalik” (kissing of the statue) program in Luneta will begin at 1:00 p.m. of January 8 while the vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m.
After the midnight mass, the vigil program will continue from 1:00 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. of January 9 and will be followed by the liturgy.
The annual procession will begin at 6:00 a.m. Organizers are again expecting several millions to join the procession as well as those hearing Friday masses at the Quiapo Church.
“Mga 10 to 15 percent additional. Last year, 12 million ang sumama as crowd (including those) that goes to Quiapo, replica procession, evening crowd in Luneta, which is different sa morning crowd, and yung nagsisimba dito sa Quiapo every hour that day,” Ignacio explained.
He added that they expect more devotees to join this year’s celebration as the feast day falls on a Friday, the regular day of devotion for the Black Nazarene.
Meanhile, the procession route will be the same as last year.
It will start at the Quirino Grandstand; right to Katigbak Drive thru Padre Burgos St.; left to Taft Avenue thru Jones Bridge; right to Escolta St.; left to Carlos Palanca St. and under Quezon Bridge; left to Quezon Blvd.; right to Arlegui St.; right to Fraternal St.; right to Vergara St.; left to Duque de Alba St.; left to Castillejos St.; left to Farnecio St.; right to Arlegui St.; left to Nepomuceno St.; left to Aguila St.; right to Carcer St.; right to Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen; left to Bilibid Viejo thru G. Puyat; left to Guzman St.; right to Hidalgo St.; left to Barbosa St.; right to Globo de Oro then under Quezon Bridge; right to Palanca St.; right to Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda; and ingress at Quiapo Church.