Posted by Normita
April 2, 2010
In the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, and a Passion play called the Senakulo. The Church keeps the day solemn by not tolling the church bells, and no Mass will be celebrated. In some communities throughout the country (most notably in the island province of Marinduque or in the San Fernando, Pampanga), the processions include devotees (termed Moriones) who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church. After three o’clock in the afternoon of Good Friday (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), noise is discouraged, some radio and television stations sign off, businesses close, and the faithful are urged to keep a very solemn and prayerful disposition through to Easter Sunday. Yet other television networks are still on air making way for some religious programming related to the solemn celebration.
Major television networks such as SVD Communication Ministry, and the Dominican Fathers of the Philippines, and others broadcast events at Roman Catholic parishes . These events include the reading of the Seven Last Words, the recitation of the Stations of the Cross, and the service of the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.*
Depending on what part of the Philippines, there are variations in the observance of Good Friday. In my hometown, it’s a solemn day, not many cars or motor vehicles driving around. People go about their family business very early, preparing a meal to share with family, close relatives and friends. At noon, the start of the recitation of the Seven Words at the church, with guests giving commentaries of their own personal experiences related to the Words. By three o’clock, the Good Friday Mass is held. The church is packed, wall to wall. No church bells, just quiet, and filled with prayers. After mass people go home to prepare the meal, or go to their relatives’ home to share a meal, reflect and watch the procession together.
Every Good Friday after mass, Bob and I invite our close family and relatives to share a meal with us. Today, we served boiled banana (a special variety) while waiting for the meal. For the main meal, we served cioppino filled with fresh seafood, linguine with pesto, and fresh dinner rolls. Desserts were delicacies mostly made from rice, sweet and sticky.
At 6:30 in the evening, my niece said, “the procession is coming”, so we took our stools in front of our house, sat and watched the ‘funeral procession’ with twenty (20) statues, all dressed in black, except for Jesus dressed in white, lying on a hearse. I will be posting all the pictures .
Saturday is what we call, “Sabado de Gloria”, a different celebration with procession from each of the different districts, to assemble in the church patio for an outside mass, to await thedawn for Easter Sunday.