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Pope speaks 7 languages, needs crash course in Waray

/ 06:45 AM November 27, 2014

guyitoTACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Pope Francis speaks six languages and the language of the Roman Catholic Church—Latin—but he needs a crash course in Waray if he wants to understand what the choir is singing when he celebrates Mass in Tacloban City next January.

The choir, composed of singers from the various parishes of the Archdiocese of Palo, will sing Waray songs during the Mass.

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“Ha Imo La” (Yours Alone), “Halad Ko” (My Offering), “Lamrag” (Light) and “An Dios Gud La” (God Alone) are among the songs that the choir has been practicing since August, according to

Fr. Raymund Cipriano Mazo, head of the committee on liturgical music of the archdiocese.

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Vatican suggestion

Mazo said the Vatican had suggested that songs in the vernacular be sung during the Mass at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport.

Mazo, parish priest of St. Jude Thaddeus in Tacloban, organized the 250-member choir.

The choir is also practicing Latin songs like Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” (Hail, True Body) and “Panis Angelicus” (Bread of Angels) and a song by Melvin Corpin, a local composer, which was sung during the Diamond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Palo last year.

The group will have a grand rehearsal in Tacloban City on Dec. 14, two days ahead of the start of Simbang Gabi, the traditional series of Masses celebrated at dawn leading up to Christmas.

It will meet again on Jan. 16, a day before the arrival of the Pope.

Seven-hour visit

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Pope Francis will be in Tacloban and nearby Palo town for seven hours on Jan. 17, 2015.

In Palo, Francis will share a meal with 30 survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) at the Archbishop’s Palace, bless Pope Francis Center for the Poor, and meet with Church leaders and seminarians at Cathedral of the Lord’s Transfiguration, popularly known as Palo Cathedral.

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TAGS: Languages, Mass, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic Church, Simbang Gabi, Tacloban, Waray
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