April 4, 2010
Morong, Rizal, Philippines – In this final entry commemorating my Easter Season posts, Bob and I just came home from attending the Easter Sunday celebration. The mass was held in the patio of the church, with lots of pageantry, recollections and readings from the Old and New Testaments.
We started from our street joining with our neighbors, walked to the church with candles and someone led the saying of the rosary. Stopping at the church gate, no lights, so we walked with candles lighting our path. We brought bottled water to be blessed during mass. When the mass started the whole place was dark, with only the stars, no clouds in the sky. Then there was a bright light that came from the church tower (La Torre), then a ball of fire came crushing down to the patio floor, and the services began. Oh, what a feeling of awe and reverence.
The Easter message as delivered by the celebrant is a time for transformation: A time to feel the heartfelt joy of caring, kindness, compassion. It is a time for sharing, music and laughter. It is a time to reflect on the goodness of the past, joy of the present, and a hopeful tomorrow.
As I close this Easter dialogue, I hope you all enjoyed reading the traditions of my hometown. I also hope that the images of these traditions leave a better appreciation of people’s beliefs and cultural makeup. My dear villagers, thank you for sharing your traditions – they are joyful, beautiful and inspiring.
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!