12 December 2010

Celebration in the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Today, 12 December, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Under that title she is the Minor Patroness of the Philippines, which was originally under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Mexico when the Spaniards first came here in 1521. The feast isn't observed liturgically here this year because it falls on the Third Sunday of Advent. (Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception, is the Principal Patroness of the Philippines).

The video above is the finale of Las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe 2009 celebrated in the basilica in Guadalupe, Mexico City. This is an annual celebration on the feast and, I presume, is celebrated early in the morning, since La Mañanita is an early morning birthday song. It was very popular here in the Philippines when I arrived in 1971 due to the influence of the Cursillo movement. The melody in this final number is the one I remember.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the patroness of unborn children and of the pro-life movement.

I don't know whether Las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe is a concert or a para-liturgy in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe or a combination of both. Probably the latter. What I noticed in all the videos I looked at is that the singers addressed their songs to the image of the Virgin behind the altar. They didn't face the audience/congregation. In other words, this was an ad orientem (towards the east) celebration, as the Mass almost always was before. The singers don't 'have their backs turned to the people' but honour the Blessed Mother along with the people present, all facing in the same direction.

There is an exuberance about this celebration in Mexico, as there is in much of the worship here in the Philippines. Mary definitely is a Mother who brings us Life - Jesus, God who became Man. May Our Lady of Guadalupe obtain peace for the people of Mexico who are struggling with the evil of the drug wars in parts of their country at present, including Ciudad Juarez on the border of El Paso, USA, in both of which cities Columbans are working.. And may she obtain peace and justice for the people of the Philippines who are under her special care.

1 comment:

mmpcebu said...

Dear Father Sean, thank you for the beautiful sharing. I have the Spaniards to thank for bringing the Catholic faith to the people in the Philippines and for you and other Catholic missionaries who come to my country and make Philippines their home.