Celebrations taking place in Victoria for St George’s Feast
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The celebrations started for St George’s Feast on Sunday morning with a Pontifical Mass led by the Bishop Gozo Mgr Mario Grech, which was attended by the Acting President of Malta Mrs Dolores Cristina and the Minister for Gozo Dr Justyne Caruana.
The temperatures were a little cooler today, which was welcomed by the large crowds that streamed into Victoria this morning to take part in the festivities.The celebrations of course included the popular band march around the heart of Victoria, led by the San Gorg (Hal Qormi) and Sant’ Elena (Birkirkara) Bands, which started at 11.00am and finished at around 4.00pm. It included fireworks let off from buildings around the square and confetti canons spraying coloured paper across the rooftops of Victoria to loud music, both to the accompaniment of loud music.
The full programme, for Sunday evening, organised by St George’s Basilica is shown below:
6.00pm: Solemn celebration of the Second Vespers of the solemnity, presided by H.E. Mgr. pawlu Cremona OP, Archbishop Emeritus of Malta.
It-Tieni Vespri tas-Solennità ta’ San Gorg, composed by Prof. Joseph Vella, will be performed by the Laudate Pueri Choir.
6.15pm: The La Stella Band marches from Republic Street to St George’s Square.
7.00pm: The La Stella Band of Victoria hails the appearance of the statue of the diocese’s heavenly protector at the bronze portals of the parish of Gozo, with the religious hymn Georgius natus est (Can. Joe Mejlak – Prof. Joseph Vella).
7.15pm: The Gozitans present in the square join the La Stella Band in saluting their patron saint with the execution of the immortal hymn A San Giorgio Martire (Prof. Luigi Billion – Mro Giuseppe Giardini Vella), with the participation of tenor Antonino Interisano (Italy), bass Dario Russo (Italy) and the choir of the Philharmonic Society.
7.30pm: PONTIFICAL PROCESSION ALONG THE MAIN STREETS OF THE CITY, LED BY H.E. MGR PAWLU CREMONA ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF MALTA, WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE COLLEGIATE CHAPTER, THE CLERGY OF THE URBAN BASILICA, MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS ORDERS OF VICTORIA, SEMINARIANS OF THE DIOCESE AND THE CONFRATERNITIES OF THE PARISH. THE LA STELLA BAND ACCOMPANIES THE PROCESSION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF RELIGIOUS HYMNS.
8.15pm: Band march by the Mnarja (Nadur) Band, from St Francis’ Square to St George’s Square, followed by a musical programme at the square by the same band, under the direction of Mro Joseph Grech.
10.00pm: The Maltese and Gozitan crowds present in Victoria greet the statue of St George at the square as the procession arrives at the basilica, with the singing of the popular hymn Lill-Kbir Martri ta’ Kristu (Rev. Accursio Xerri ofm – Mro Vincenzo Ciappara).
10.30pm: Triumphal entrance of the statue of St George at the basilica, followed by the execution of the Antiphon Beatus Georgius and Eucharistic Benediction, celebrated by Archpriest Mgr Joseph Curmi as a conclusion to Gozo’s feast in honour of its patron St George.
Photographs by Alain Salvary