Vatican Anticipates Full Weekend of Events Related to Beatification
Activity has already begun with a prayer service in the Vatican Grottoes
A special meeting was held on Friday with journalists today at the Holy See Press Office to outline the activites that would be taking place with regard to the events related to the beatification of Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011.
One significant activity at the Vatican Grottoes had taken place prior to the meeting, as the tomb of the Holy Father was opened and the case with his body removed. He is buried in three coffins - the interior one of wood, the middle one of lead and the outer one of wood.
A brief prayer service was held. The coffin, which was draped with cloth embroidered in gold, will remain in the Grottoes until Sunday morning when it will be placed before the main altar in the Basilica.
On Saturday evening, April 30, there will be a celebration of the Vigil (from 8:00pm to 11:30pm) at Circo Massimo. This will be open to the public beginning at 5:30pm.
The Beatification Mass will begin at 10:00am and be preceded by an hour of preparation. During that time the faithful who have gathered will say the Devotion of Divine Mercy together. The Holy Father had a deep love for this devotion.
Directly following will be Holy Mass, with the readings of the Sunday after Easter. At the end of the rite of beatification, when the tapestry depicting the newly Blessed is unveiled, the Hymn of the Blessed will be sung in Latin. At the end of the Mass, a reliquary of John Paul II will be brought to the altar for the veneration of all the faithful.
Msgr. Marco Frisina, director of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Vicariate of Rome, noted, "Directly following will be Holy Mass, with the readings of the Sunday after Easter. At the end of the rite of beatification, when the tapestry depicting the newly Blessed is unveiled, the Hymn of the Blessed will be sung in Latin. At the end of the Mass, a reliquary of John Paul II will be brought to the altar for the veneration of all the faithful."
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be held on Monday, May 2 in St. Peter's Square at 10:30am. Later that day it is anticipated that the permanent placement of the Blessed under the altar of the Chapel of St. Sebastian will take place.
Here is the text of the press release, including more details, issued today by Vatican Information Services.
VATICAN CITY [VIS] This morning in the Holy See Press Office there was a meeting with journalists to explain and clarify the events planned for the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II.
The speakers were Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office; Msgr. Marco Frisina, director of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Vicariate of Rome; Fr. Walter Insero, director of the Office of Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome; and Angleo Scelzo, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Fr. Lombardi explained that this morning, in the Vatican Grottoes, "the tomb of John Paul II was opened and the case containing the body of the Venerable Servant of God was extracted".
"As can be recalled, the Pope was buried in three coffins, the first of wood, which was displayed during the funeral, the second of lead, which is sealed, and the third, external one, which is also made of wood and was the one revealed this morning at the moment of the extraction from the tomb. It is in a good state of preservation, even though showing signs of the passage of time.
After the procedures to open the tomb, which began first thing in the morning, the coffin was displayed on a dais at the gravesite until 9:00am, when Cardinal Angelo Comastri, after a brief prayer, intoned the litanies.
Besides Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archbishop Giuseppe D'Andrea, and Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, representing the Basilica and the Chapter of St. Peter, there were also present Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State; Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland and former personal secretary to John Paul II; Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State; Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Archbishop Piero Marini, who was Master of Liturgical Celebrations under John Paul II; Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care; Sr. Tobiana and the religious of the papal apartments of John Paul II; Commander Angelo Gugel; the heads of the Corps of the Gendarmerie of Vatican City State and the Swiss Guard; and other persons.
All together there were several dozen persons including the workers of the Fabric of St. Peters who carried out their task with great devotion and a profound spiritual participation.
While singing the litanies during the brief passage, the case was ...
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