The final days of World Youth Day Rio were an exercise is letting God surprise us all. Days of rain made the field at Guaratiba unusable and the final events were moved to Copacabana Beach. Cariocas (residents of Rio) are used to having parties on the beach. They have two giant parties there every year: New Year's and Carnaval. This party, this celebration of faith took everyone by surprise: there was no violence, no fighting, no drunkenness, no destruction of property, just joyful celebration. Many locals commented in the following days how they had never witnessed a celebration of this type on the beach. That was certainly a fruit of WYD for the city.
Who could forget the moment, during the vigil proper, when the monstrance was brought out with the Blessed Sacrament. Over a million and a half people dropped to their knees on the beach. The image was powerful, a wave of adoration. For me the most powerful image though, were the singers on the altar during that period. The first thing singers are taught by vocal coaches is that they must stand in order to breathe the right way to create beautiful sound. Yet these two women were on their knees, microphones in hand.
Relive the Vigil experience on Salt and Light this weekend:
Saturday, Aug 17 at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT
Sunday, Aug 18 at 12:30am ET / 9:30pm (Sat) PT
(CNS Photo/ Paul Haring)