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Catholics mark feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2011 5:10am
Catholics worldwide attend Mass on Thursday, December 8, to mark the feast or Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, one of the "holy days of obligation" in their liturgical calendar.
Catholics have a special regard for the most Blessed Virgin Mary because they believe she was, “from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin,”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also instructs that the "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ.”
In the Philippines, where the Virgin Mary is especially venerated by millions of devotees, the feast will be celebrated starting with dawn Masses—some at grottos of the Our Lady of Lourdes.
Catholics are in the midst of Advent, which is their spiritual preparation for Christmas Day. Advent marks the start of the Catholic liturgical calendar.

Preparing for new Mass liturgy
Incidentally, in the current liturgical year in the Philippines, the Catholic Church in the Philippines will be adhering to the current book of prayers and responses for the celebration of Holy Mass for the last time.
Starting December 2 next year, they will be following the new English translation of the Roman Missal, which will feature a number of changes, including:
  • In the Introductory Rites, the response of the faithful “And also with you" to the priest’s greeting “The Lord be with you" has been replaced with “And with your spirit."
  • In the Eucharistic prayer, the text “…cup of my blood" has been changed to “…chalice of my blood."
  • The text “it will be shed for you and for all men" has been changed to “which will be poured out for you and for many."

The Apostles’ Creed was changed slightly and will be in this form:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by
the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again
from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Installation of new Manila prelate
Filipino Catholics are also preparing their official welcome for the new Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio G. Tagle, former Bishop of the Diocese of Imus in Cavite.
Pope Benedict appointed Tagle to his new post last October 13. The former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales is Archbishop-Emeritus and Administrator of the Archdiocese until the new archbishop has been installed.
The installation rites for Archbishop Tagle, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will be streamed live on the Internet via  and . — GMA News
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