by Irene Taylor
THE Cathedral was packed on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass, prior to which Majorca's unique custom of the singing of the, was observed.
The is the prophecies of the end of the world, coming of the anti-Christ and Judgement Day, and is sung in churches around the island on Christmas Eve. The only other place where it is performed is in Alguero in Sardinia, which was once part of the same kingdom as Majorca. However, there it is sung only in the Cathedral and by a priest. In Inca, Ana Maria, a 12 year old Romanian girl who has been living in Majorca for just two years, sang the at the old people's home, while in the parish church of Santa Maria la Mayor, the honour went to Catalina Ramon, 43, who has sung it for the past 12 years. In Manacor, Encarna Valero, 26, who came second in a recent talent show, sang at the church of Crist Rey, as she has done since she was nine years old.
In Artà, Jeroni Mestre, aged 11, sang the ancient prophecies twice, first of all in Colonia de Sant Pere and then in Arta itself.
One of the most popular places on the island to attend the ceremony is Lluc monastery, where its famous boys' choir has been rehearshing for the past two months. The soloist was Josep Forteza Celia, 12, of Inca, who was singing it for the first time, although he has been a member of the choir for five years.


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