I shall probably 'blog about the procession tomorrow. It was probably the biggest procession in recent years and it was wonderful seeing Pope Benedict able to participate so fully in the ceremonies. In previous years Pope John Paul II gave great testimony as struggled through, but it's nice that our new Pope doesn't have to do that.
It was incredible to see Benedict lost in prayer before the Sanctissimum.
The crowd was bigger than I've ever seen it.
This picture doesn't even come close to capturing how many people were present. It doesn't show the huge number of clergy and seminarians who preceded the Blessed Sacrament in ranks of 8 abreast (I would estimate that there was well over 1,000), or the confraternities, the Heralds of the Gospel and other groups whose membership and banners preceded the clergy. As the procession went along the Via Merulana to St Mary Major's its numbers were swelled by the faithful who joined the end of the procession after it passed them. Many private apartments had candles lighting in their windows, convents had banners hanging from their windows and the churches along the way had their doors wide open and their interiors illuminated.
The procession concluded with Benediction.
Liturgical enthusiasts will appreciate the smoke.