The biggest Marian procession for decades will take place in Liverpool on Saturday.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool and Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Mother Teresa, will lead children who have made their First Holy Communion on a procession from St Peter’s Square to Queen’s Square.
The procession will stop several times to sing a hymn and say the rosary. The statue will be placed on the ground, and the children, in their First Communion dresses and suits, will scatter rose petals around it.
At the end a benediction will be said, and Archbishop McMahon will give each child a remembrance card and a set of rosary beads.
Such processions were common in the past, organiser Jim Ross told the Catholic Herald, but they died out in the 1960s and 1970s. When it was revived five years ago, about 50 people took part; last year there were 200, and many more are expected this year.
“It’s what we used to do as children, honouring Our Lady in May. It gives something to the children for their memory,” said Mr Ross, a semi-retired builder.