TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) — Choir members from the various parishes of the archdiocese of Palo will render Waray songs during the mass to be officiated by Pope Francis on January 17, 2015.

Dubbed as the papal’s choir, the group is composed of 250 singers, organized by the committee on Liturgical Music of the Archdiocese of Palo, headed by Father Raymund Cipriano Mazo.

After learning on the visit of Pope Francis to Tacloban and nearby town of Palo, they immediately organized the choir coming from the various parishes of the archdiocese, Mazo said.

He said that the Vatican has suggested that songs should be in the vernacular or “Waray’ (Leyte’s dialect), be sung during the mass.

Songs like Ha Imo La (Yours Alone), Halad Ko (My Offering), Lamrag (Light) and An Dios Gud La (God Alone) are among the songs being practiced by the members as early as August, which are to be rendered during the papal mass, Mazo said.

Mazo, who is the parish priest of St. Jude Thaddeus in Tacloban, said that members of the papal’s choir were plucked from the different choirs of the parishes.

They are also practicing Latin’s songs like Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus (Hail, True Body) and Panis Angelicus (Bread of Angels) and song composed by Melvin Corpin, a local composer, sung during the Diamond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Palo last year.

The choir members were from the parishes of Cathedral of the Lord’s Transfiguration, popularly known as Palo Cathedral, Palo; St. Michael in Tolosa; and Holy Cross in Carigara.

In Tacloban City, they are from the parishes of Redemptorist; Guadalupe; Our Lady of Lourdes; Sto. Nino and in Ormoc City, the St. Peter and Paul Basilica.

The Papal’s choir members will have their grand rehearsal in Tacloban City on December 14 or before the traditional “simbang gabi” (dawn mass).

They will meet again on January 16, a day before the arrival of Pope Francis.

The Pope will be in Tacloban and nearby Palo for seven hours to officiate a Mass at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport.

He will then motor his way to the nearby town of Palo wherein he will join 30 survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” at the archbishop palace, also known as Gonzaga Haus, and bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor.(PNA)