MANILA—Moments before the urn containing the remains of the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was brought to his family in Quezon City, his family held a private prayer for him at The Heritage Park in Taguig Thursday night.
Kris Aquino, his sister, posted on Instagram a video of the first night of the novena or 9 days of Catholic prayer for the dead.
Relatives joined in the prayer led by one of Aquino’s nephews.
Speaking after the prayer, Aquino expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support her family received on the same day the
“Gusto po namin magpasalamat sa inyong lahat ulit para sa ipinakita ninyong pakikiramay at pagmamahal sa kanya at sa aming pamilya. Maraming salamat po,” she said.
She also announced plans for the one-day public viewing and later interment of her brother’s urn.
The urn can be visited at the Church of the Gesu at the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday.
Masses will be conducted there at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas will celebrate the funeral Mass for the late president at 10 am on Saturday before the urn is brought to the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City.
The late president's urn will be interred there beside his parents, former senator Benigno Jr. and former president Corazon.
"Arrival honors, the 21-gun salute and all the honors due him will be given to him in Manila Memorial after we have laid him to rest,” Aquino said.
After the family prayer, the urn was carried out of the memorial hall by nephew Miguel Aquino-Abelleda accompanied by his mother, Pinky, and other relatives.
Kris, meanwhile, held the folded flag placed beside the urn, which remained overnight at a private family location in Quezon City.
Arrival honors are set to be given at the Ateneo at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Aquino family spokesperson Abi Valte announced that a shortened public viewing with social distancing measures will be observed for the late president in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.