(Reuters) - Pilgrims attending the large public events during Pope Benedict's visit to England and Scotland next month have been issued a long list of do's and don'ts including a ban on musical instruments and steel cutlery.
The list, on the official papal visit website, encouraged worshippers to bring sunblock, flags and folding chairs for the events in Glasgow, London and Birmingham, but said alcohol, gazebos and lit candles should be left at home because they "could pose a threat."
[that annoying instrument!]
The four-day trip, from September 16 to 19, will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II's pastoral visit in 1982 and is the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.
Various protests are expected, including by secularists critical of the trip's cost, gay rights groups and those angry at the child-abuse scandal which has spread throughout the Roman Catholic church globally. [Any modern day pope has had his fair share of protests save only John Paul I who never got the chance to get out of Italy.]
Nevertheless, tens of thousands of the Church's estimated five million followers in Britain are expected to attend the public events. [And Anglicans willing to come home to Rome! Say it with me Anglicanorum coetibus! Anglicanorum coetibus!]
About 85,000 are due to attend a prayer vigil in London's Hyde Park, while 65,000-70,000 are expected at the beatification of the Victorian theologian and Anglican convert Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham. [Anglicanorum coetibus!]
Up to 100,000 are due to attend a Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
Worshippers will be able to take blankets, torches and cameras as well as picnics, but only plastic cutlery and non-breakable cups and plates will be allowed. Hampers and cool boxes should not exceed a certain size.
Last week the full itinerary was published, including details of when people would be able to catch a glimpse of the pope in his popemobile.
I do not know how they will be able to check the items of the pilgrims. That would be a monumental security work for the organizers.
Anywho, putting up a website and listing what to bring is a great thing to do. In Events Management which I do, being meticulous in the most minute detail is very crucial.
I hope to see that attention to detail in the papal liturgies.