The Observance of the Holy Week
Holy Week is a religious observance of a holy season in the Philippines. It is mostly participated by a large number of Roman Catholics in which majority of the country is composed of. It is a wide and long celebration where businesses close their establishment in order to pay respect and participate in the celebration from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday.
The Holy Week
This marks the start of the Lenten Season. A mass will be celebrated on a Wednesday and on the imposition part the lay minister or the officiating priest will mark a cross on the forehead. Ashes serve as a sign of where humans came from. As to the Bible that Adam and Eve were made out of ashes through God’s own hands. These ashes were made out of burned palm leaves which were blessed during the last years Lenten Palm Sunday.
This marks the start of the Holy Week. This is to commemorate the welcoming of the Christ Jesus as a grown man in Jerusalem where the people in the church waves palm leaves after the celebration of the Eucharist. In the Philippines Palm leaves are crafted to be waved and blessed before or after mass. This blessed palm leaves will be placed on altars or doors. This is believed to protect each home from evil spirits.
There are different ways in which Catholics in the Philippines do to honor the celebration of the Lenten season. Many undergo repentance from their sins, do meditations, abstinence and fasting. It has been a custom as well that from Ash Wednesday Catholics won’t eat pork until the Black Friday. There are also some that do this from the whole duration of the Lenten season. In this way Catholics shows their truthful obedience and repentance from their sins.
Throughout the whole season there will be numbers of processions that are held. On the Black Friday on the day that Christ died on the cross in salvation of the world, a procession is held around almost every town in the Philippines. This procession composed of the images of Mary and other saints and the apostles as well as the Holy Son in His coffin. This is to remind the Catholics of the other significant personas that is greatly involved in the life of Jesus Christ as well as too the greatness of the Catholic faith.
Reading of Passion
This holy activity involves the singing and chanting ritual known as the Pabasa. Primarily the elders are to lead in the Pabasa but nowadays youth are taking great part of the activity. Most of the local youth makes up a stage play about the life and the suffering of Jesus Christ. Pabasa is held in the afternoon of Maundy Thursday until Good Friday.
Senakulo and Penetensya
Senakulo is a dramatic play wherein staged in public streets, plazas, or at the church. This shows the death and the suffering of Christ. While Penetensya is an act of repentance among Filipino Catholic men in which they sometimes inflict pain to themselves by whipping their back and even crucify themselves on the cross. Most Filipinos who can’t bear such repentant act usually does the long and faraway walks while saying a prayer or carrying the cross. This is done on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.
This holy activity involves the visiting of the Catholic people to different Churches to honor a prayer in each station. These stations commemorate the life and the sufferings of Christ while on His way to sacrifice Himself for the salvation of the mankind.
This joyous celebration is the day that Christ has raised from the dead. Filipino Catholics gathered at the church to celebrate a Eucharistic mass. The celebration starts with a salubong, where angels are singing and Christ that has risen will be welcomed and praised by His Mother Mary and by His people.