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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 38 (The Procession)

The captain walks together with the mayor, Captain Tiago, and Crisostomo Ibarra.  They watch the procession from the captain's terrace.  When the statue of the Virgin Mary passes by Tiago's house, Maria Clara sings "Ave Maria" in a melody so sad that would cause one to ponder upon the cause of such melancholy.

Points of Note:
In this chapter Rizal lists down his observations regarding the religious practices surrounding Catholic processions during that time, some of which are still presently observed in the Philippines.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What accounts for the sadness in Maria Clara's song?
Answer: She already feels it coming, from the moment Friar Damaso forbade her to marry Ibarra, the sad fate and mournful end of their love for each other.

Question: Why doesn't Ibarra have the slightest suspicion that he might be the cause of Maria Clara's grief?
Answer: Ibarra doesn't know that Captain Tiago had agreed to Friar Damaso's move to nullify their planned marriage; Maria Clara on the other hand, is not aware that Tiago consented to the captain general's request of being godfather at the wedding.

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