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Religious Observances During Lenten Season

Crissy Taruc By Crissy Taruc on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 19 | Other Culture & Society Expertise:
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Philippines is a country where most of the population are Roman Catholics. The Lenten Season is a very important occasion to the Filipinos to commemorate and partake in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. There are plenty of religious practices being observed during the Lenten Season:

ASH WEDNESDAY - This practice of placing ashes on the foreheads as a sign of repentance marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. Catholics wherever they are follow the practice. In Catholic Schools they celebrate mass and even in some offices. Others go to church after office to practice Ash Wednesday.

PALM SUNDAY - It is the Sunday before Easter Sunday where Catholics carry "palaspas" or palm leaves to be blessed by the priest. After the mass, Filipinos bring it home and place in their doors or windows with the belief that doing so can protect them against evil spirits. The old "palaspas" are being brought to church, burned and mixed with the sacred Oil of Catechumens. This part of the Lenten Season is where some people make money by making decorative "palaspas" to sell.

PABASA or PASYON - Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday marks the start of "Pabasa" or "Pasyon." It is a marathon singing of the poetic prayer story of the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ. It continues day and night for as long as two straight days. The owner of the house or a sponsor of the said "Pabasa" prepares food and drinks for the participants.

CHURCH VISIT - The "Bisita Iglesia" or Church Visit is a popular tradition on Holy Thursday. Filipinos visit several churches and pray the Stations of the Cross. Mostly it is being done in group by believers either they commute or rent a vehicle.

GOOD FRIDAY STREET PROCESSIONS - It is in Good Friday where Filipinos have a long procession together with the big "karosa" carrying life-sized statues depicting the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

SELF-FLAGELLATION & CRUCIFIXION - Some Filipinos practice these during Good Friday. Self-flagellating is where an individual will make a shallow cut at his back and on his way to church will whip it with materials that will make blood burst and flow on his back. The face is also covered with a netted piece. While actual crucifixion is being performed outskirt of Manila. It is done at 3:00pm of Good Friday. This video shows actual self flagellation and crucifixions on 2008 Good Friday.

There are other religious observances being practiced by Filipinos like the "Senakulo, " "Salubong" and "Siete Palabras." During Lenten Season, Philippines is flank by observers from different countries to see Filipinos' religious practices especially self-flagellation and actual crucifixion.