Crowd thickens on last day of Cardinal Vidal wake; historical mausoleum prepared for burial

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, October 25) — A large number of people gathered on Wednesday to catch their final glimpse of the late Cardinal Ricardo Vidal on Wednesday as church workers prepare for his funeral rites.

Despite occasional rain throughout the day in Metro Cebu, churchgoers still paid their last respects to the cardinal at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Groups of people were taking photos at the altar. The cathedral was also overflowing with flowers, with some already placed at the Plaza outside the Cathedral.

The church will be closed by 11 pm in preparation for Thursday morning's funeral procession. It will open again to the public by 7 a.m. The funeral rites start at 9 a.m.

The funeral route will be a little longer than earlier planned as the procession will proceed to the Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino, before going back to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Church workers are already preparing the historical mausoleum, which also houses the grave of Filipino Bishop Juan Gorordo. They are also rushing some renovation and repainting jobs.

Notable personalities are expected to attend the funeral rites, including all the Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and some government officials.

The public is allowed to bring flowers and candles at designated areas during the procession, but bringing backpacks is discouraged for safety reasons.

Cardinal Vidal died on October 18 due to infection leading to septic shock. He was 86 years old.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a holiday for the entire province of Cebu on Thursday, October 26 -as he paid his last respects to the cardinal, early Monday.