’Hubo’ mass a message for renewal and spiritual transformation
Cebu City, Philippines – “It is not too late to change for the good.”
This was the message from Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr. addressed to the thousands of devotees who attended the ‘Hubo’ Mass of the Holy Child, which marked the end of the 454th Fiesta Señor celebration.
Nohara, the rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño where both the replica and the original image of the Sto. Niño are housed, led the ‘Hubo’ Mass which started at 4 a.m. on Friday, January 24, 2019.
Hubo, in Cebuano, literally means undress, wherein the replica of the Holy Child will be stripped of its fiesta clothes, given a ritual bath, before it will be draped with simpler clothes.
The crown was the first ornament to be removed, followed by the orb, scepter, armlet, bands, cap, tunic, inner garments, and boots, respectively.
In his homily, Nohara said the undressing of the Holy Child symbolizes renewal and spiritual transformation through humility.
“The changing of the clothes of our beloved Snr. Sto. Niño has an important message for all of us. It tells us the importance of renewal and spiritual transformation,” said Nohara.
“All of us need renewal and spiritual transformation. But we must do with utmost humility. The moment we gratify ourselves, we take pride in it. And end up judging others,” he added.
Over 5,000 individuals flocked to the Basilica, most of them carrying their own replicas of the Holy Child and water bottles, which was then filled with the Holy Water used to bathe the church’s image of the Sto. Niño.
One of them was Afe Estampino, 41, who carried with her an eco-bag containing three empty water bottles, and her image of the Holy Child.
“We either wash parts of our bodies with the water from the Hubo Mass or drink it right away. Every time we do, we not only feel refreshed but also renewed,” said Estampino.
Concelebrating with Nohara were about 40 priests from the Archdiocese of Cebu and different religious congregations.
The San Diego Dance Troupe also danced the Sinulog during the Mass and Hubo ritual. /bjo
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