A Holy Week reflection-A A +A
By Nerie Bayan
Thursday, April 28, 2011
AS A Christian nation, we always faithfully observe the Holy Week as a celebration of Christ’s suffering and his resurrection. This symbolizes God’s love for us as He gave His only son for our sins.
When I was younger, I have grown up to observe Holy Week as the most sacred days of the year. We spent most of the hours of the day from Holy Wednesday to Good Friday in church to attend the services and mass the Church has prepared. My grandmother, Lola Menang, when she was still alive, taught us the importance of prayer and faith in the Lord. She said it is the most powerful shield and weapon from almost anything bad or evil. She always enlightened us about this faith by sharing actual stories about their experiences way back during the Japanese period and how prayers and faith got them through to survive.
Going back to Holy Week, she always insisted we accompany her to attend church activities during the Holy Week. As a child then, for fear our Lola Menang will get angry, we of course joined her all the time even if at times, we really did not understand (as a child, not understanding always leads to boredom). During those times, I did not appreciate fully the long hours of procession of the ‘stations of the cross,’ or the lines for confession, and even attending the mass for the ‘washing of the feet;’ but slowly, year after year, I have realized these activities have molded me into achieving great faith in God which up to this moment remains unshaken.
Looking back now, I realized my grandmother’s way of inviting us, often times, forcing us to go with her to the church for Holy Week activities played a great part in strengthening my faith and believing there is a God who watches over us. Her determination to mold her grandchildren to grow up as Christians and God-fearing individuals proves to be a success because the lessons she conveyed to us remain as one of the most special memories we have of her. Thank you Lola and we miss you already.
The most exciting part of the Holy Week celebration is Easter Sunday, as after the grief and mourning for Christ’s suffering is His resurrection which is celebrated with the “Pagsalubong” before the early morning mass celebration. Easter Sunday is always coupled with many family activities. Some families visit churches away from their hometowns, and some celebrates at the beaches. In Baguio and in other areas, picnic at the park is always the cheapest form of a family day celebration. Throughout the years, the way of celebrating Easter Sunday has changed, although the main purpose of celebration has remained, “Christ is Risen.”
There are some groups or individuals, which celebrated Easter Sunday for this year’s through service for the people. The Rotary Club and the Abanao Square held a medical and dental mission, which provided free medical and dental services for the constituents of the various barangays. Another activity conducted at People’s Park, was the launching and raffle draw of the KKBK (Kapitbahay Ko Bantay Ko), an organization conceptualized and formed by City Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas, as a group to assist the barangays in carrying out its tasks and responsibilities.
Although most of its present members are also barangay officials, the vice mayor is encouraging the participation of the constituency. Membership forms are available at the office of the City Vice Mayor, City Hall, for those who are interested to join. The raffle draw was initiated as a fund raising activity to generate funds for the organization, which will be utilized in various programs and activities that would directly benefit the barangays. Many groups and individuals believed and supported the event by sponsoring the prizes of the raffle draw. Hon. Joel Alangsab, ABC president, along with members of the Liga ng mga Barangay also showed their support in the activity through their presence during the launching.
I am sure that, besides the usual “Easter Egg Hunting” activity for children, there are also other activities within the city, which was conducted last Sunday. In any way celebrated, what is important is to remember the very essence by which it is commemorated, that Christ has risen. Symbolically, one of the significance of this event, according to some scholars means that there is an assurance for the forgiveness of our sins. Circumstances would always find its way to make us commit a sin every now and then as we are only human; but I guess that continued faith and belief in God coupled with actions and sacrifices that benefits the good of other people, would eventually cleanses these sins one at a time.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 28, 2011.