HOLY WEEK IN THE PHILIPPINES PowerPoint Show by Emerito
<ul><li>The Philippines is Southeast Asia’s Largest Roman Catholic nation with a rich cultural heritage that is steeped in tradition. One of these Filipino practices is the observance of Lent and the Holy Week that for Catholics, is a time for atonement and sacrifice. The belief of such religious observance was inherently Christian in origin brought to the Philippines by the Spanish Conquistadores when they first planted the Cross, symbol of Christianity, on the islands thus signaling the advent of the conversion of the natives to the faith of the Conquerors. </li></ul><ul><li>Holy Week is locally called Cuaresma or Semana Santa. The practice is nationwide and has varying undertones of religious significance that is both moving and touching in its entirety. </li></ul><ul><li>The week from Monday to Good Friday is an emotion packed series of religious ceremonies reminiscent of Christendom's most cherished traditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Lenten celebration in the Philippines is a conglomeration of quaint Christian and paganistic practices that are found nowhere else in the world. Some are breathtaking and exciting as they are charming and so distinctively Filipino that they are a source of wonderment for any tourist. </li></ul>(Click to skip this page)
The start of Holy Week is Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos).
Catholics carry palm leaves “palaspas” to church for the priest to bless.
At Mass on Palm Sunday, Catholics carry palm fronds to be blessed by the priest. Many Filipinos bring them home after the Mass and place them above their front doors or windows, in the belief that doing so can ward off evil spirits and avert lightning.
"Pabasa" - a religious practice during Holy Week where the passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ taken from the verses of the Bible is being chanted non-stop for three to four days.
The “senakulo” or “pabasa” continues day and night until Maundy Thursday (Huwebes Santo)
There are countless “Senakulo" or "Pabasa“ nationwide.
Penitents are inside the “senakulo” or “pabasa” in Pampanga
First, the skin on the back is cut a little by a razor blade. Next, thousands of hits rips of the skin.
Penitents flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope.
Hundreds of “flagellants” or “penitents” – hooded men who whip their own bloody backs with whips of bamboo and rope, as penance for sins.
Penitents crawl on rough pavements and slash their backs before whipping themselves to draw blood to fulfill religious vows (panata), or to express gratitude for favors granted.
Flagellants inflict pain unto themselves as a sign of penance for their sins. Although this is common in the Philippines during Holy Week, the Roman Catholic Church does not sanction this religious ritual. The Catholic Church has forbidden people from taking part in the old Christian tradition of self flagellation during Lent.
The penitents cover their faces for anonymity. It's usually people with grave sins that participate in the tradition and the participant should not take credit for his act of contrition - that sharing Jesus' sufferings should not be boasted about.
Penitents called “magdarame” carry wooden crosses.
Every year on Good Friday (Biyernes Santo) in San Pedro Cutud, City of San Fernando, Pampanga , a dozen or so penitents - mostly men but with the occasional woman – are nailed to a cross using two-inch (5 cm) stainless steel nails (soaked in alcohol to disinfect them). Thousands of people flock to witness the world-renowned crucifixion that is re-enacted on a man man-made hill after the two-hour street play, Via Crusis is performed as it has been done for the past 54 years.
Many of these “Kristos”, as the crucified men are called, have gone through this ordeal a number of times. The leader of the main body of Kristos, 50-year old Ruben Enaje, endured his 23rd crucifixion on April 2, 2010.
This Jesus character carried his cross through the streets past the crowds, had nails put through his hands into the cross, and then was hoisted above the crowd .
The Catholic Church does not approve of the crucifixions and does not endorse them. The media has also turned against the rites, calling them "pagan and barbaric" but generally admitting they are still a good show.
The nails are hammered through the hand until they bite the wooden board behind.
The San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga
The San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites is a Holy Week re-enactment of Christ’s Passion and Death which takes place in Barangay San Pedro Cutud, City of San Fernando, Pampanga in the Philippines.
San Pedro Cutud, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Blood squirts from the wound where the nail went through his hand. The man shows signs of pain as the nails are removed and blood leaks from his wound.
Alcohol is squirted on the wound to dis-infect it. The bloodied cross as the nails are removed. Prior to this no blood was present
Contrary to the Catholic Church’s teachings and the commercialization of the event, the fervor for the tradition stays, with the townsfolk sticking to their faith and spiritual practice, constantly remaining pure in their religious vows “panata” which continues to be a source of community solidarity and strength.
Via Dolorosa (a procession of holy images in remembrance of the way of the cross) VIA DOLOROSA
Salubong ("meeting") - The statues of the Resurrected Christ and the Virgin Mary, are brought in procession together to meet, imagining the first reunion of Jesus and his mother Mary after the Resurrection. The statue of the Virgin Mary is veiled in black, showing her state of bereavement. Easter Sunday Dawn (or Midnight of Black Saturday) Salubong
A girl dressed as an angel, positioned on a specially constructed high platform/scaffold or suspended in mid-air, sings the Regina Coeli and then dramatically pulls the veil off of the image, signifying the end of her grieving.
In some Parish Churches, after the enactment, “Salubong” (meeting) on the late night of Black Saturday, it is followed by the burning (using fireworks) of an effigy of Judas Iscariot because of his betrayal to Jesus Christ.
Click to exit EASTER SUNDAY Easter morning is marked with joyous celebration, the first being the dawn ceremony called the Salubong ("meeting"). This is followed by pealing bells and fireworks, and the joyous Easter Mass. THE END