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Catholic Fathers prepare ground for the Pope’s Nairobi visit

By Mercy Adhiambo | November 17th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Catholic priests rehearse for the mass that will be officiated by Pope Francis at the University of Nairobi grounds. [PHOTO: EDWARD KIPLIMO/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: Rehearsals for the Holy Mass to be conducted by Pope Francis at the University of Nairobi (UoN) grounds have begun in earnest.

A team of priests drawn from different parishes were at the university yesterday practicing for the mass, which is expected to bring together more than 250,000 worshipers on November 26.

Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Dominic Kimengich, said more than 4,000 Catholic fathers would attend the mass, with 500 of them helping to serve Holy Communion.

"It is going to be a huge mass, and people will be spread from here to beyond," said Bishop Kimengich, pointing at the expansive university land.

The priests could be seen assembled in small clusters, engaging each other on the details of the activities they will perform to ensure the event is a success.

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Kimengich said due to the expected high turn out, every activity has to be well thought out and executed so that the mass is not a flop.

"We have to serve sacramental wine and bread to 500 000 people. The priests will have to stand at strategic points so that those who want to partake in the ceremony of the Holy Eucharist are not left out," he said.

The bishop had a huge print out of the university's map and on it, he had marked different points where the priests would be stationed.

Father Januaris Kioko, who will be among the priests serving the communion, said typical of events hosted by the Catholic Church, order shall prevail.

"Everything has been planned. Even the vestments we will wear on that day will be special. This will be a special mass because the head of the Catholic Church in the world will conduct it," said Kioko.

The priests will don Albs, which are liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic Church; they are white in colour and flow down to the ankles, with small belts at the waist to secure them.

The choir that will help to conduct the mass is working under strict instructions.

No detail has been spared. The rhythm, song and dance have been co-ordinated and monitored by the Catholic Liturgical Music Association of Kenya.

The mass will last for two hours.

Pope Francis Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) University of Nairobi (UoN)
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