MYHH: Easter

April 8, 2015

Today’s entry mainly talked about Easter. I say “mainly” because it also talks about Buddhism for a while. Nevertheless, the bulk of the entry was on Easter.

Mmm..actually, it wouldn’t be Easter Sunday anymore when this goes up. I am, however, writing this down today (Easter Sunday!) so I guess it’s still counts?

Typically, Easter for our family means midnight masses and sometimes, the Salubong* procession. But before all that, there’s abstinence every Friday that begins on the Friday right after Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday. Fast forward to Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, we go to mass with our palaspas** on the ready. And then on Holy Wednesday, we go to confession or what is commonly called kumpisalang bayan. On Maundy Thursday, we hear mass first and then do Bisita Inglesia***. Good Friday’s a pretty normal day for us, except for the abstinence part. I can’t remember when and why we stopped doing so but we used to go to my parent’s home town to watch the penitensiya**** on Good Friday too. On Black Saturday, we wear white and attend the Easter Vigil, which runs until 12 midnight and segues into the Salubong procession and Easter Sunday! :D

Salubong – the Salubong is a procession where the men and women come from different directions with the Risen Lord and Mama Mary respectively and meet in front of the church where an angel lifts Mary’s black veil that symbolizes her mourning. The procession is usually done early in the morning but recently, some parishes have opted to do it right after the Easter Vigil mass.

** Palaspas – the best way I could describe the palaspas is that they are artfully arranged palm leaves. We wave them high in the air as was done in the past to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem.

***Bisita Inglesia – in English this translates to “visiting churches”. During Bisita Inglesia, we visit a total of seven churches (some visit up to a total of 14 churches) while “following” the Way of the Cross. Seven churches = 2 stations per church. 14 churches = 1 station per church.

**** Penitensiya – this, I believe, is unique to the Filipino culture. While doing penitensiya, volunteers repeatedly whack themselves in the back with what I think are flat, short bamboo sticks tied together with a string as penance for their sins or sometimes as some sort of thanks for a prayer granted.


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