Labor of love: The altar for the Luneta mass
MANILA, Philippines – The altar and the papal chair at the Luneta mass were designed by architect Father Alex Bautista of the Archdiocese of Tarlac.
Rappler Carmela Fonbuena finds him finishing his work at the Quirino Grandstand on the eve of the concluding mass of Pope Francis in the Philippines.
Watch the report:
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: We're watching the final practice and preparations for the concluding mass of Pope Francis here at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. The stage is a work of art, a labor of love. The Pope may have visited only Metro Manila and Leyte but other parts of the country are represented in all these furniture on the stage.
FR. ALEX BAUTISTA, ARCHDIOCESE OF TARLAC: If we couldn't bring him to go around the country, at least elements of the Philippines will be present here in the Mass of the Holy Father. The decoration of the canopy is made from bamboo – typical of Bulacan. We used that to make a lace work. The altar table is made from wood, but the table top they have the marble from Romblon. The cloth, at the side of the altar table, will have piña cloth. The pope's table will have anahaw as its motif. Anahaw is the Philippine national leaf. and it is a strong leaf. It has jagged edges, representing the strength of the Filipino people.
There's a carving above the chair, the head of the chair will have the carving of the Filipino of The Good Shepherd carrying a sheep and a staff and a text in Filipino – Ang Mabuting Pastol – and we made it a point that when the Pope is seated, when anybody tries to capture his image, the words Ang Mabuting Pastol will always be visible.
The images of the Nuestra Señora de Guia, which is the oldest Marian image we have in Manila, and the Santo Niño have cultural value. Every detail – the good Lord is in the detail. The detail that we put is the prayer we offer to the Lord. Our work becomes our prayer these past days in organizing all of this.
The mass also coincides with The Feast of the Santo Nino. Before the mass begins, Devotees from the Archdiocese of Cebu will lead the people in the Sinulog rhythm and dance.
Carmela Fonbuena. Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com