Rainy weather moved the third annual St. Mary Marian procession indoors, but it couldn’t drown out the sound of prayer and song permeating the church.
Following 5 pm Mass on Saturday, October 26th, the Knights of Columbus brought in a statuette of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a platform adorned with flowers. Deacon John Rex led the congregation in the Rosary as participants began a candlelight procession around the church.
In between the Mysteries of the Rosary, the choir led participants in the Fatima hymn, also known as “In Fatima’s Cove.”
“Our Annual Marian processions at St. Mary were initially inspired during the year of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima [in 2017],” said Anna Pacek, Director of Sacred Music at St. Mary Mokena and the procession’s lead organizer.
“As our parish’s patroness is Our Blessed Mother, we are very passionate about continuing this wonderful tradition of honoring her each year in the month of the feast of the Holy Rosary and of the last Fatima apparition in October.”
Processions like the one at St. Mary have been practiced by the Church for centuries. The Bible itself includes examples of processions, from the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament to Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
According to the Church, processions are a “manifestation of the faith” that represents our passing through this life into the next. We walk through the procession as we should walk through our lives, focusing on God and realizing that this world is not our eternal home. By doing so, we also bear witness to our faith before others.
“The singing and candlelight were beautiful, as were the gorgeous Marian prayers,” said Father Dindo Billote, who has championed traditional practices, like the Marian and Corpus Christi processions, throughout his tenure as pastor.
Following the procession and Rosary, the evening concluded with the Litany of Loreto, a Marian hymn, and the opportunity for quiet prayer in front of the statuette.