From a liturgical point of view, processions, even those of a popular tenor, should be oriented towards the Liturgy. The journey from church to church should be presented as the journey of the community living in this world towards the community living in Heaven.
Not only that, but a church-to-church journey also signifies a progression through stages of faith. These stages are most often manifested in individual believers as people age and progress from childhood through to old age.
Because they are liturgies, processions should be supervised by competent authority. They should include public prayer, Scripture, and music:
Such processions should be conducted under ecclesiastical supervision so as to avoid anything unsuitable or degenerative. They should begin with a moment of prayer during which the Word of God should be proclaimed. Hymns and canticles should be sung and instrumental music can also be used. Lighted candles or lamps should be carried by the faithful during the procession. Pauses should be arranged along the way so as to provide for alternative paces, bearing in mind that such also reflects the journey of life. The procession should conclude with a doxology to God, source of all sanctity, and with a blessing given by a Bishop, Priest or Deacon.
What do you think of this list of to-do’s? Anything missing? The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.