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More than 1 million join Pope for Sunday Mass
Updated: 2005-08-21 17:21

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) _ More than 1 million Roman Catholic young people who camped out overnight in an enormous field welcomed Benedict XVI on Sunday morning for the concluding Mass of his four-day trip to Germany, his first foreign travel as pope.

More than 1 million join Pope for Sunday Mass
Young women listen to Pope Benedict XVI during a vigil mass at the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, August 20, 2005. Pope Benedict ends a triumphant visit to his German fatherland with an open-air Mass on Sunday expected to draw over 800,000 people, crowning a trip marked by his reaching out to other faiths and to young people. [Reuters]
The pope was driven to the altar overlooking the Marienfeld, or Mary's Field, in his tall, glassed-in popemobile to the sound of hymns as thousands of priests lined up to assist in the service.

Pilgrims cheered the 78-year-old German pope as he walked to the main altar, wearing a gold miter and waving to the crowd. He smiled as he ascended the raised altar platform and began the service.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the archbishop of Cologne, welcomed Benedict, who was making his first trip back to his homeland since becoming pope in April. He paid tribute to the young people in attendance, who he said numbers more than 1 million.

"Here in the midst of the youth of the world, and countless priests, bishops and cardinals, we would like to welcome you to Marienfeld," Meisner said. "You belong to the youth, and the youth belongs to you."

Then, in a nod to the global reach of World Youth Day, the Gloria section was accompanied by South American zamponas and charangos, to be followed by an Indian sitar, African drums, and an Australian didgeridoo during successive parts of the Mass.

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