Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week Special: Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday

Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday indicates the start of the singing of the Pasyon or Pabasa. The Pasyon signifies the vernacular verse on the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ, which continues day and night, for two successive days. The chanting tradition of the Pasyon is a solemn pledge made by the family or an individual where the reading was made.

It is a tradition that remained well preserved particularly in the provinces, where it is held continuously day and night sometimes for as long as three straight days.

During Holy Wednesday, some men carry out the Penitensiya, which is common during holy week. It is an act of self-punishing penitent, where somebody who whips himself as a form of penance. It is usually the reenactment of the sufferings of Jesus by carrying the wooden cross. These actions are carried out until Good Friday.

In the Philippines

Beginning Holy Wednesday, businesses in the Philippines either shut down operations until Black Saturday or have later opening and earlier closing times, while mostly local television or radio stations suspend programming or continue broadcasting with more solemn or religious content. An example is the airing of the Seven Last Words on Good Friday live from churches on various local channels and films about the life and death of Jesus. During the Easter Triduum, usually a public holiday, some television stations even interrupt broadcast altogether until Black Saturday in observance of this solemn occasion. In the Ilocos region, a common practice is the singing of a wailing song called the Leccio. It is done as a reflection of mourning the death of Christ. Many towns in Philippines usually have religious processions during Holy Week where traditions are part of the processions.

Passion plays or Sinakulo  is a Lenten play narrates a sequence of episodes from Old and New Testaments, emphasis on the life, sufferings and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It takes eight nights from Palm Sunday to Easter  to present the entire Sinakulo.

Holy Monday to Wednesday Gospels

Monday of Holy Week
First Reading:
O Truth, you are present to those who seek your help, and at one and the same time you answer all, though they seek your counsel on different matters. You respond clearly. but not everyone hears clearly. All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish. Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.
-- St. Augustine

John 12: 1 - 11

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him.
Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said,
"Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.
Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial.
The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz'arus, whom he had raised from the dead.
So the chief priests planned to put Laz'arus also to death,
because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 
Tuesday of Holy Week
First Reading:
We read in the gospel that when the Lord was teaching his disciples and urged them to share in his passion by the ministry of eating his body, some said: This is a hard saying; and from that time they no longer followed him. When he asked the disciples whether they also wish to go away, they replied: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. I assure you my brothers that even to this day it is clear to some that the words which Jesus speaks are spirit and life, and for this reason they follow him. To others these words seem hard, and so they look elsewhere for some pathetic consolation. Yet wisdom cries out in the streets, in a broad and spacious way that leads to death, to call back those who take this path.
-- St Bernard

John 8: 21 - 30

21Again he said to them, "I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."
22Then said the Jews, "Will he kill himself, since he says, `Where I am going, you cannot come'?"
23He said to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
24I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he."
25They said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Even what I have told you from the beginning.
26I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him."
27They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father.
28So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.
29And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him."
30As he spoke thus, many believed in him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 
Wednesday of Holy Week
First Reading:
You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat.
-- St Josemaria Escriva

John 8: 31 - 42

31Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
33They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?"
34Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.
35The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever.
36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
37I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.
38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."
39They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did,
40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did.
41You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God."
42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

love, now and always, 

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