Holy Week Traditions

Our family has always spent Holy Week doing what most traditional Roman Catholics do this time of year. No, not go to Boracay or Baguio or Batangas. I think those kind of activities are for the upper-middle classes and beyond. Holy Week starts with the Palm Sunday and we usually attend mass at Sto. Domingo church along Quezon Ave. I am never sure why we have to travel all the way there when we could attend mass a the village church. Then during the holy weekdays, we attend pabasa at a relative’s in Dimasalang. The adults take turn reading/reciting/singing the verses which narrates the event towards Christ’s death and resurrection. Holy Thursday is the day reserved for Bisita Iglesia. For each church that we visit, we would take turn reciting one of the fourteen (then it became fifteen sometime during the 90s). Good Friday and Black Saturday are spent at home and fun-related activities are prohibited by parents. They say that when Jesus is dead, no one will protect and save us if something untoward would happen. And on Easter Sunday, there’s the traditional Salubong. Two separate processions – one is of Jesus and the other is of Mother Mary – would start out from two locations at around 4am and they would eventually meet up at the village church where the easter mass is celebrated.

But in recent years, we sort of outgrew these traditions. Holy week is still somewhat commemorated but not in the very traditional way that we grew up with. Recently, I have always thought that we as a family have outgrown or stated to outgrow these traditions. I am not sure if it’s because of the hellish work schedule (we children are growing old) and parents developed their own ways of celebrating Semana Santa.

Or maybe, it doesn’t mean so much anymore.

The way I see it these days, it’s just supposed to be like Christmas. Roman Catholics tend to be extra nice and good during these kind of seasons. But when the “celebration” is over, it’s back to old ways and attitudes, which are far from being holy. It’s not supposed to be that way. The spirit of giving (during Christmas season) and the spirit of humility (during the Lenten season) are meant to be lived out on a daiy basis. They are not “modes” that we shift into during specific times of the year only.

It’s just sad how some people are bent on keeping up with traditions during the Lenten season, when they act like assholes and bitches the rest of the year.

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