By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Pope Francis takes the stage on the Ben Franklin Parkway for this afternoon’s mass, he’ll be joined by more than a thousand clergy who will help him celebrate the closing event of the World Meeting of Families.
The pope is the main celebrant of the Mass, and he will be joined at the altar by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput and Vatican Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family.
Fr. Dennis Gill, rector at the Cathedral Basilica and in charge of the liturgy, says the pope will also be surrounded by many of his brother clerics.
“We’re expecting perhaps as many as a thousand concelebrating priests,” Gill says. “A good number of bishops concelebrating. We’ll have a thousand priests and deacons distributing Holy Communion. And, then we have a thousand ushers who will guide them.”
Gill says the Mass will have prayers and readings in English, Latin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
At its conclusion, he says Archbishop Paglia will publicly announce the site for the next World Meeting of Families to be held in three years.