Being a country where 85% of of the population is Roman Catholic and the only Christian nation in Asia, Philippines has number of celebrated events that sprung out from Spanish Catholic Tradition. From Nazarene procession, to Misa De Gallo, to the solemn Holy Week tradition, it’s hard to ignore how these amazing events changes over the years.
Holy Week is one of the most fascinating and longest event celebrated with many of devout Filipinos clinging on to old traditions.
Starting off with a unique Palm procession on Palm Sunday followed by a series of ‘pasyon’ or ‘pabasa’ which begins on Holy Monday. It is where a poetic prayer of Jesus the Christ life, passion, death and resurrection are chanted all through out the country, getting more lively each year.
Various processions are hosted on Holy Wednesday.
On Maundy Thursday, the last Supper is celebrated in the churches and most people go on Visita Iglesia.
Good Friday seemed to busy most town. There are a lot of events held in different places, processions with devout Filipinos whipping themselves, hoping to get at least a feel of Jesus sufferings. Some even volunteer to be nailed on wooden cross they carry out on a long walk to crucifixion. These bizarre act have gained popularity to the world and is being a center of attraction by tourists every year.
Me and Mr. Haven Hunter though, opted to celebrate quietly at home. Yet, we have found time on Friday night to visit Bonifacio High Street to walk through the Stations of the Cross. Fourteen interactive stations that are based on the Gospel Accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are set up throughout the mall grounds.
1. Jesus Sweats Blood – Each station has scriptures, so heartfelt that anyone will never have a hard time to reflect despite the wave of people coming. For the first station there are huge mirrors, to check yourself out, to make you realize that the image you see in front of you is the reason why Jesus endure what he did.
2. Jesus is Betrayed By Judas – Jesus is Betrayed by Judas. To Judas, Jesus was worth 30 pieces of Silver: the equivalent of three month’s wages of a common laborer.
3. Jesus between the Sanhedrin – Sanhedrin is a late Hebrew representation of the Greek word Synedrion meaning “sitting together” as a legislative assembly or Senate.
4. Jesus is Judged by Pilate – The Verdict where Pontius Pilate, Roman Governor/History’s Greatest Coward. took the water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying: “I am INNOCENT, of the blood of this JUST person.” – Matthew 27:24
5. Jesus is Scourged – The Whip. Remember that Jesus was beaten to make us whole.
6. Jesus is Crowned with Thorns – For this station we were given a strip of black cloth which represents the mistakes of our lives, all our sins and failures.
7. Jesus Carries His Cross. We had a feel of what its like to carry our own cross. Mr. Haven Hunter tried 70 lbs. and mine was 50lbs. It was just a few steps but carrying it over our shoulder made us realized how hard it was when Jesus carried it through Via Dolorosa up to the Calvary during that fateful day.
8. The Two Simons – Simon Peter and Simon of Cyrene. The Simons who pulled through for Jesus when He needed it the most. There were bowls of prayer requests, where we were asked to pull one paper, pray for their needs and be the Simon for them. We also dropped our prayer request hoping that someone will pick and pray for it.
9. Jesus is Crucified – There is a huge cross where everyone can nail the piece of black cloth handed in Station 6. It reminds us that because God loves us, we do not need to bear the gravity of sin in us anymore. Jesus died for these sins on the cross.
10. Jesus entrusts Mary to John – The Mother. I personally like what this station activity requires:
This is the time to think about your own family. How is everything? Whether things are well or rough, would you take time to thank God for your family.
Is there a strained relationships within your family, would you pray for healing and restoration?
Would you pray for protection and success?
11. Jesus Promises Paradise to a Repentant Thief – The Promise. Two thieves hang on the cross on either side of Jesus. One mock Him and the other chooses to pray for Him.
12. Jesus Dies – The Darkness. A mysterious eclipse shrouded the hills of the skulls, the hill where Jesus hung. The Darkness of Good Friday seems real. It seems permanent. “SEEMS” is the operative word.
13. Jesus Rises – The Cloth. Praise God for the hope Easter brings to us! It reminds us that just as Easter completes the work of the cross, God will complete the good work He has for our lives. We were given a piece of paper to write down the name of the person who touched our lives and hang it on the board. We offered a prayer of blessings.
14. Remembering Jesus – Remember that Jesus died and rose again for us. We are a part of a family of Christ followers.
Walkway : Reflections on the Stations of the Cross will be open until April 4, 2010. An Easter Concert will be held on Easter Sunday at 7:00 PM.
An awesome project made possible by ChurchSimplified
God Bless Us!