Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's Easter!

Palm Branches To The Priest
Happy Easter!

“Here in the Philippines Easter is a significant religious observance for the Roman Catholic majority and most Protestant groups.

“Beginning Maunday Thursday, businesses in the Philippines either shut down operations until Black Saturday or have later opening and earlier closing times.  Some local terrestrial television and radio stations close down.  Those that do, operate truncated broadcasting hours and feature religious programming, films, and news coverage of religious ceremonies.
The Way Of The Cross
“On Palm Sunday many 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 lighting.

Maundy Thursday is the beginning of the Triduum, and represents the build-up of events for the week.  The main observance of the day is the last Mass before Easter (commonly called the Mass of the Institution of the Lord’s Supper) usually including a re-enactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles.
Re-enactment Of The Crucifixion
“Beginning in the morning, the faithful observe the Church Visit’, which usually involves going to seven churches to meditate on the Way of the Cross.

Good Friday is a public holiday, commemorated with solemn street processions, the Way of the Cross, the commemoration of Jesus’ Seven Last Words, and a traditional Passion play which in some places is a week-long affair.  The highlight of Good Friday activities is the procession of the wooden image of Christ’s corpse lying supine.  In some communities the processions include devotees who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance.  Some places accord this with proper funeral rites, such as laying the body in state.  The image is interred in the chapel nearest the parish, and remains locked within until the Easter Vigil.  The public sorrow and somber mood attached to this day gave rise to the Tagalog idiom Mukha Kang Biyernes Santo.’ Literally meaning ‘You look like Good Friday,’ as the subject’s sad expression resembles that of the suffering Christ.  Filipinos traditionally avoid noisemaking and, in older times, bathing (unless required for health reasons) after 15:00 PST as a form of sacrifice in accordance with the belief that Christ died at that hour.
Actually Nailed To The Cross
Easter morning is marked with joyous celebration, the first being the dawn ceremony.  Statues of the Resurrected Christ and the Virgin Mary are brought in procession together.  They re-enact the imagined reunion of Christ and his mother Mary after the Resurrection.  The Virgin Mary is clothed or veiled in black to express bereavement.  A girl dressed as an angel, positioned on a specially constructed high platform, or suspended in mid-air, sings and dramatically removes the black veil to signify the end of Mary’s grieving.  This may also be done by other ‘angels’ who pull off the veil, or tie it to balloons or doves and release these into the sky.  The Virgin is then called ‘Our Lady of Joy’ and confetti is showered on the statues.  The moment is marked by pealing bells and fireworks, followed by the Easter Mass.”   Wikipedia

Little Angels
As I have mentioned before the Filipino people are very religious.  They are eager to talk about the things of the Spirit and their feelings are genuine.  You can imagine how much they enjoy and respect the Easter Holy Week.

We have also spent a wonderful week in the Temple.  The Saints use their free time during the holiday week to visit the Temple.  Each day, when we arrived at the Temple at six o’clock, we were greeted by large numbers of people waiting for the seven o’clock session to start.  To accommodate the many people who visit the Temple during Easter week, we scheduled sessions in the four ordinance rooms every half hour.  It is necessary to add four or five extra chairs to the respective ordinance rooms in order to seat those in attendance throughout the day.

Angel Removing The Black Veil
As you can tell, we were busy enough that there was no time to act like a tourist and visit the traditional Filipino celebrations, so you will have to be satisfied with the images we were able to find from news articles and such.  For the most part they are images from this week’s activities throughout the country.

We’ll close for now.

We love you,
Mom and Dad
Easter Of Feeding The Poor
Elder and Sister

Re-enactment Of Carrying The Cross

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you could celebrate the week in the peace of the temple.
    You do serve in very festive & holiday loving countries.
    Happy Easter,