RELIGIOUS CEREMONY. Five thousand candles will be lighted to form the image of Señor Santo Niño on January 18, one of the new events introduced by the San Jose Parish in celebration of the Feast of the Holy Child Jesus. Photo shows one of the oldest replicas of the image of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu. (PNA file photo by Perla G. Lena)
ILOILO CITY — San Jose de Placer Parish, which handles the religious activities of the 2020 Dinagyang Festival, will lead parishioners in lighting 5,000 candles to form the image of Señor Santo Niño on Jan. 18 as one of the events leading to the highlights of the festival.
The candle lighting ceremony will be led by Rev. Fr. Raymundo Edsel Alcayaga, parish priest of San Jose, who said in a press conference on Monday the candle lighting dubbed “Kasanag Niño” (Light for Señor Sto. Niño) will be done in front of the church in Plaza Libertad.
“Once lighted, it will form the image of Sto. Niño,” Alcayaga said. He added that this will be the second time that they will form an image out of candles.
In October last year, 3,000 candles were lighted to form the image of the Holy Rosary. He said that as far as he knew, it will be the first time that such kind of event to pay homage to Señor Santo Niño in the country will be held.
“We thought it’s a good thing to do it with the image of Sto. Niño. Everyone is invited to come and witness the lighting of those candles,” Alcayaga said.
Parishioners hearing mass before the candle lighting will be asked to join the lighting of the candles which have been set up to form the image.
Apart from forming the new image, another innovation that will be introduced is the 8,000 flaglets that will welcome the image of the Sto. Niño during the fluvial procession and solemn foot procession on January 24.
Coordination has been done with schools, especially Catholic schools, to wait along the Muelle Loney and welcome the image with their flaglets. “With the start of solemn foot procession, there will be students who will also be waving flaglets,” he added.
Alcayaga said they expect a solemn atmosphere in areas where the foot procession will pass by as they already requested establishments to mount their own sound system and tune in over Bombo Radyo that is leading the rosary during the entire procession.
The parish priest is expecting the full cooperation of Ilonggos as he said “there is a growing interest” when it comes to their devotion.
The parish has also prepared other activities under the liturgical committee that started with a nine-day novena on January 15.
The image will also visit other parishes, private establishments, and schools.
Other activities include the fun day for children from barangays surrounding the parish, medical and dental mission, healing mass for aged, sick and abandoned, the blessing of Sto. Niño images, pregnant mothers and children.
The Grand Religious Sadsad, where devotees will ask their petitions to the Sto. Niño, will also be held in front of San Jose Church after the 5:30 pm mass on January 25. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency