THOUSANDS of devout Catholics attended mass on Palm or Passion Sunday yesterday, April 14.
They were waving their cross-shaped Palm branches as Rev. Jomar Solano, a Deacon at the Diocese of Bacolod, San Sebastian Cathedral blessed with holy water, their cross-shaped Palm branches, a Catholic way of dramatizing the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City.
Rev. Solano said, "We are officially starting the whole week of intensive prayer, fasting and alms giving. The significance of this occasion is we join the Lord Jesus Christ on his entry to Jerusalem."
His entry to Jerusalem was the start of his passion and suffering. For us Catholics, we are joining Jesus Christ in his journey towards His suffering.
"We all know that by going through it, He is fulfilling God's will of saving us all. This is our external way of showing our participation in the Lord's passion and death. We all believe that it is coming from the very core of our hearts and our faith. We begin also to go through the sufferings of the Lord in fulfilling His mission that the Father has given him," he said.
Holy Week is not an occasion for holidays
“It is embedded in our identity as Christians that when we were baptized, we share in the life, suffering, death and the resurrection of our Lord. This holy week is supposed to be a day of reflection, silence, prayer and fasting. It should not be an occasion for us for holidays,” Solano said.
He added that unfortunately, some of our Christian brothers take this simply as a superficial thing. But for devout Catholics, they reserve this day for prayer, fasting and in a way, express their kindness to those who are under privileged. This is a time for alms giving where we share to those who are in need, out of our bounty. We also share our solidarity for those who are suffering.
Meanwhile, Nap Macasa, a seller of "Ramos it Lukay" or crossed shaped palm branches said a lot of devotees buy from them during Palm Sunday.
This symbolizes the people's faith to God. It is sold at P15 per piece.
This is blessed after the conduct of a mass where the diocese built a makeshift where the people gathered holding their palm crosses and a deacon or a priest with his assistant, blesses it with holy water.*