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ICTHUS Song

Closing Rites for Mayflower Festival

May 3, 2011

Feast of Philip and James, Apostles

Circular 2011/14

RE: Closing Rites for Mayflower Festival

My dear brothers in the priestly ministry:

The month of May has been traditionally associated with the pious tradition of Flores de Mayo, an age old custom of offering flowers before the image of the Mother of God, praying the rosary and holding a procession in her honor. In our archdiocese, this Marian devotion has also become an occasion to select some youth and children from the parish community to represent the glories of Mary and inspire the Catholic faithful to remember the virtues of the Blessed Mother. While such popular expressions of piety are encouraged and approved, the rituals associated with this tradition must be reformed and resurrected so that the practices may be conformed to the prayer tradition of the Church.

True devotion to Mary must be at the same time Trinitarian, Christological and ecclesial. Mary leads us to the worship of God, to a deepening of our discipleship of her Son and to greater love of the Church of which she is also a member.

The Mayflower festival always be an act of Marian devotion and diligent pastoral care must be given to protect it from becoming a merely socio-cultural event of the most beautiful and most wealthy.

Enclosed is a para-liturgy in English and Pangasinan that may be used to close the Mayflower devotion. This closing ritual must be done outside the Mass. The focal point of the para-liturgy must be to honor the Virgin Mary and not to exult the Mayflower  title-holders.

I trust you will give this pious devotion your pastoral care and attention insuring that God remains  to be the focus of the event and the praise of Mary leads us to Jesus her Son. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS,

Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

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