Holy Week: Let’s cross that off my list
Dahlings, This week is Holy week (Easter to the rest of the Christian world) to my Philippine friends which is THE biggest holiday in their calendar. It is so big, some of them turn up their piety to a eleven or even a twelve. A few even volunteer to be crucified with some doing it every year becoming minor celebrities.
Some years back, the Philippines Government sorta said ‘Crucifixation is bad ok. We don’t want you to be crucifying yourself but if you do, at least get a tetanus shot for health reasons’.
This year, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has come out a bit stronger and said in a television interview “..the best way to observe Holy Week is by doing charitable works like helping the poor and visiting the sick in hospital.” The Philippine star, interviews the ArchBish:
.. Villegas suggested to the faithful to “make pilgrimage, visit churches, visit seven charity wards of hospitals and visit the sick people there and bring them something to eat as we usually do during Christmas.”
The prelate also advised Catholics to “be more patient with pains in the neck, be more forgiving (to) annoying people” as a way to show love for God. “The Lord is pleased when we become merciful to our brothers and sisters,” he said.
He also explained that Catholics who want to atone for their sins may opt to help the poor instead.
The CBCP head also reiterated the Church’s objection to activities like self-flagellation or crucifixion.
“It’s no longer necessary to shed blood because the shedding of blood is completely done by Jesus Christ for us. We don’t have to hurt ourselves anymore because we cannot add to the merit of Christ’s passion,” he lamented.
Having been in Manilla traffic, I see where he is coming from on the ‘be forgiving to annoying people’.. Not only that others are giving guidance on Holy Week:
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has also prohibited forms of physical beating, including crucifixion of prisoners during the observance of Holy Week.
BJMP director Serafin Barretto Jr. said yesterday they have stopped inmates from undergoing self-torture several years ago as a way to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Ah, Ok then.
But should you not want to listen to Arch Bishop and have a desire to watch some self declared pious people (who hopefully have their tetanus) extreme themselves up for Easter, then there is San Pedro Cutud in Pampanga province where “Penitents whip themselves on the back, using whips made of bamboo or paddles with pieces of broken glass to draw blood. To complete the rites, some devotees willingly allow themselves to be nailed to the cross, reenacting Jesus’ crucifixition.” [rappler].
But Philippines is rapidly adopting Western culture and so the methods of celebrating Holy week is changing. What better way of showing sacrifices Jesus made than to go Easter Egg hunting in Malls and while you are there go shopping. #WWJD.
Much more cultured (and less bodily fluids) if you ask me.
Ciao for now,
- See also Augustus 2016 article The Philippine Nail Salon“