Holy Week a time for renewal, grace: Palma reminds faithful

CEBU CITY -- Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday asked the faithful to participate in all religious activities related to Holy Week during a concelebrated mass for Palm Sunday at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Palm Sunday signals the start of Holy Week.

The faithful brought palm crosses that the archbishop blessed with holy water. This was followed by a short procession on the way to the cathedral for the mass.

According to Pope Francis, Holy Week is a time for renewal and grace, Palma said.

In his homily, Palma said Palm Sunday, which is also called Passion Sunday, is a way to remember Jesus’s jubilant entry to Jerusalem.


“We start the Holy Week with Palm Sunday but even today gipasayod na kita sa sunod nga mga buluhaton ug nadungog nato ang pasyon sa atong Ginoo (we are given an overview of what should be done and we also hear the passion of Christ),” Palma said.

He said it is true that Jesus was a king but unlike other kings and Roman emperors he was not on a horse when he entered Jerusalem but rode an ordinary donkey.

He said Jesus died because of His love for the people.

Palma said the faithful should reflect on this during the Holy Week.

“Mao pirmi nako ipahinumdum ang Semana Santa dili (That’s why I keep on reminding everyone that Holy Week is not) vacation time... Panahon kini sa atong pagpamalandong (This is the time to reflect),” he said.

He also asked the faithful to offer prayers to those who wander away from church and use Sunday as their time for sports.


“Hatagan nato ni’g panahon kining Semana Santa. Ampo kita mga igsuon labi na kita sa Sugbo (Let us give time for Holy Week. Let us pray especially since we are in Cebu), the cradle of Christian civilization, host of International Eucharistic Congress, this is where privileged people are for the Señor Sto. Niño is left to us and we are given the San Pedro Calungsod,” Palma said.

Palma said confessions will be available from Monday to Wednesday.

He urged the faithful to participate in the activities that take place during Holy Week, including the Last Supper mass; the Visita Iglesia (church visits) on Maundy Thursday; the reading of the Siete Palabras, or the Seven Last Words of Jesus, Via Dolorosa on Good Friday; the blessing of new fire and water on Black Saturday; and dawn mass on Easter Sunday.


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