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Organizers hope to keep solemnity of Black Nazarene feast

Organizers of the much anticipated Black Nazarene procession on Tuesday, Jan. 9, have come up with measures to help keep the solemnity of the feast, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of devotees from around the country.

Nazareno 2024 (Photo courtesy of Quiapo Church)

“The measures are not really something new but rather a return to the old ways of expressing our devotion. After what we’ve been through the pandemic, this is the time for reset,” said Quiapo Church rector Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr.

After a three year break because of the pandemic, the traslacion procession will be held again this year along with the other traditional activities such as the “Pahalik” at the Quirino Grandstand.

Organizers said they are expecting huge crowds particularly this year as Black Nazarene devotees missed their annual “panata” (vow) of joining the procession for three years.

“Our prayer is that, with these learnings, may we celebrate it in orderly, safe, and sacred manner,” Fr. Sescon said.

To help keep order as well as the solemnity of the grand procession on Jan. 9, the Black Nazarene image will now be encased in a laminated glass case. Climbing onto the carriage which has been a norm in the past will also not be allowed.

Devotees are also encouraged to wear their face masks as a protective measure. At the Quiapo Church where 33 holy masses will be celebrated, a one meter physical distancing between mass goers will be observed.

“We will do our best but we will adjust depending on the situation,” said Fr. Sescon.

Activities at the Quirino Grandstand will start on Saturday, Jan. 6 with the “Pahalik” which will be held until Jan. 8.

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula will preside over the midnight mass on Jan. 9.

The procession will follow a shorter route, similar to the one used in 2020.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna said around 12,000 cops will be deployed to help keep peace and order and ensure the safety of the devotees.

Jan. 9 has been declared as a special non-working day in Manila. The city will also enforce a ban on firearms, liquor, and firecrackers during the traslacion procession.

The theme for Nazareno 2024 is “Ibig Po Naming Makita si Hesus” (We want to see Jesus) from John 12:21.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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