Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Week Special: Good Friday

Good Friday, or Biyernes Santo, is a public holiday, commemorated with solemn street processions, the Way of the Cross, the commemoration of Jesus' Seven Last Words or Siete Palabras, and a traditional Passion play called the Senákulo. 

In some communities, the processions include devotees who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance, in fulfillment of a vow, or in thanksgiving for a granted request.

After three o'clock in the afternoon (the time Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), all noise and merrymaking is discouraged, bathing is proscribed, and the faithful are urged to keep a solemn and prayerful disposition. Siete Palabras services, both on television and in parish churches, conclude at this moment. The Mass of the Passion of the Lord is held in all parish churches with the veneration of the cross for the closing.

Towards evening, there is a funeral procession of the deceased Christ known as "Prusisyon ng Sto. Entierro", similar to the procession of the epitaphios in Eastern Orthodoxy. The statue of the dead Christ, known as the Santo Entierro, is borne on a decorated "Calandra", funeral carriage , after which it brought around the community and back to the church to be venerated by the faithful and the "Pahalik sa Señor". Such a procession may involve images of other saints, but regardless of the number, tradition dictates that the last image in the procession is always the Mater Dolorosa. Other images in groups participating are those depicting the decent from the cross or burial.

Some places accord the statue of the Santo Entierro with proper funeral rites, such as laying the body in state or, as in some instances, by smoking the image over a fire in accordance with local, pre-Hispanic funerary customs. In the town of Pakil, Laguna,a tradition wherein the Santo Entierro is smoked several times along the procession, using lansones peelings for the fire while someone shouts "¡Señor, Misericordia, Señor!".

The marathon chanting or "pabasa" of the Pasyon, the epic narrative of Christ's Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection, usually concludes on this day.

Good Friday Gospel:
Friday, April 22, 2011 
Good Friday
First Reading:
Second Reading:
Unless you strive after virtues and practice them, you will never grow to be more than dwarfs.
-- St. Theresa of Avila

love, now and always, 

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