Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Week

Today is Easter Sunday, one of the most important celebrations in the Catholic calendar, when I attended the 9:00 am mass today, the homily of the priest touches a deep cord in everyone's heart, because it tells how Jesus Christ suffered and sacrificed for the salvation of mankind. Easter Sunday, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the center of the Catholic faith because without resurrection, our Christian life would not be meaningful at all.

But I am just surprise the way people in the city celebrated the Holy Week, because back in the province we had the holiest way of commemorating the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

When my grandmother was still alive, we had the most strict practice of the observance of the Holy Week. We never eat anything during Good Friday, even if we wish to eat, there's no food in the kitchen anyway, hehe! My Nanay (she died in 2005 at the of 98 with an intact memory who can recall even her first love haha!) never allowed us to go out beginning Holy Monday, except going to the church for the station of the cross, then by Holy Thursday, we would start eating plenty because Good Friday offers no food anymore in the house, we rarely talk also and never took a bath. By Black Saturday, she would prohibit us from preparing grilled foods of any kind because it means a direct humiliation for the Lord, at Easter Sunday every we would prepare something to be feasted and we would go to the beach, almost all people in the town would go to the beach so there's a big celebration over there, it's a great rejoicing for Christ's resurrection.

Traditionally, we would cook native rice mixed with coconut milk and yellowish ginger, we call this recipe "Beringhe" then prepared crabs stuffed with young coconut to be fried with oil and either sprite or Mountain Dew. Today, I am not sure if this practice is still prominent in the province, but I know they still continue practicing the Good Friday ritual---no food, minimal and slow talk only, no going out except attending the Seven Last Words in the Church and the Passion of Christ and no taking a bath---and the Easter Sunday rejoicing ---going to the beach with lots of food.

In the city, my gosh! I was quite shock with the way people treat Holy Week,as if it is just another week.

Maundy Thursday celebrates the Last Supper commemoration including the washing of the feet of the apostles. Good Friday has no mass only Passion of Christ. Black Saturday celebration is divided into four parts that's why it's super long. First part is the ceremony of light, second part is the celebration of the Holy Words, third part is the celebration of baptism, it is in this part that people are able to renew the sacrament of baptism, then the last part is the celebration of the Holy Mass. I am very lucky that I was born on April 3  because there are Liturgical years that my birthday falls on either Black Saturday and Easter Sunday. Last year 2010, my birthday falls on Black Saturday, what a blessing! Because I was able to receive the renewal of my baptism.

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