Officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu have issued guidelines for priests and lay people who want to pay homage to Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal during his wake and funeral.
“Please avoid taking selfies inside the cathedral out of respect,” said Msgr. Joseph Tan, media liaison officer of the Cebu Archdiocese.
On Thursday, October 26, people who want to attend the 9 a.m. funeral Mass and burial of Vidal are discouraged from bringing backpacks and other bags at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral so as not to delay security inspection.
The nine-day wake will end at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.
On the first hour of Thursday, Tan said the cathedral will be closed to the public to give church workers time to clean the church and prepare for the funeral Mass.
The cathedral will be opened at 7 a.m. on Thursday. The funeral Mass will start at 9 a.m.
Tan said a number of seats will be reserved for the bishops, priests and government leaders — a large number of them are expected to attend Vidal’s funeral Mass and burial.
“For the general public, the other seats at the cathedral will be on a first-come, first-served basis,” he said.
The parking area and the streets surrounding the cathedral will be closed to traffic and vehicles.
Tan said priests from the northern part of Cebu have to leave their vehicles at the St. Joseph Parish in Mabolo, Cebu City, while those from the south will park their cars at the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod at the South Road Properties.
Priests in Cebu City are advised to leave their vehicles at the Archbishop’s Residence compound or at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on D. Jakosalem Street.
Tan said the priests will be transported by buses from the designated churches to the Cebu cathedral.
After the funeral Mass, Tan said Vidal’s body will be brought out for a short procession on the streets surrounding the cathedral towards the mausoleum at the back of the church.
Tan said only bishops and the immediate family of Vidal will be allowed inside the mausoleum where the cardinal’s body will be buried.
“Wide-screen televisions and LED screens are placed inside and outside the cathedral for people to witness Cardinal Vidal’s burial,” he said.
At 7 a.m. today, Saturday, Vidal’s body will be transported from the cathedral to the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Pedro Calungsod inside the Archbishop’s Residence compound on D. Jakosalem Street.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the canonization of Calungsod, the first Visayan martyr and the second Filipino saint after San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.
It was Vidal who worked on the cause for sainthood of Calungsod.
The cardinal’s body will be returned to the cathedral at 7 p.m. today. It will remain at the mother church of the archdiocese until the day of the funeral.
Meanwhile, all donations given during Vidal’s wake will be used for the elderly, sick and dying priests of the archdiocese.
“These priests had a special place in his heart,” Msgr. Tan said.
To manifest his love for sick and elderly priests, Vidal ordered the construction of the St. John Paul II Home for Elderly Priests located inside the compound of the San Carlos Major Seminary in Mabolo.
“If you do give alms, please ask for a receipt,” Tan said.