Spiritual, Social and Practical considerations characterize today's celebration of Holy Week
As a pre-dominantly Catholic country, the celebration of Holy Week has more meaning in the Philippines as compared to other Catholic countries. The commemoration of the passion, life and death of Jesus Christ is done through various traditional religious norms, rituals, and practices in our country.
But while many Filipino Catholics follow this traditional suit, others take advantage of the Holy Week Vacation by spending time with their families/loved ones, doing some R&R (Rest and Relaxation), or even going abroad to have solo/group adventures.
While some are busy with their vacation and R&R plans, there are some out there who take advantage of Double/Triple Pay schemes offered by their companies to earn extra cash by working on the scheduled holidays during the Lenten Season. Aside from these incentives, working during the Holy Week holidays can be very attractive especially that the traffic situation in Metro Manila during this time is significantly better than any other regular working day.
The Holy Week is celebrated differently today as compared to past years/decades.
Times have changed indeed and the ways in which we spend our Holy Week have also evolved. Spiritual, Social and Practical considerations now characterize today's celebration of Holy Week. The length of the Holy Week holiday season also serves as a motivation for many to take advantage of this time for considerations other than the usual spiritual aspect. These considerations and motivations are valid and people should not quickly jump into the conclusion that Filipino Catholics have lesser regard for Holy Week celebrations in this day and age.
In reality, the demands of today’s world have been tough that a long break or pause can surely help, especially for the working class. Normal situations have called-on many individuals to work more than the regular hours just in order to earn a living and raise a family. Several Sundays have even been spent by some to rush and finish tight deadlines. Some wish there are more than 25 hours in a day so that they could finish everything they could not physically do within a day.
The Holy Week reminds that there can be a pause to this whole madness the world is throwing at us. It reminds us that there are limits and boundaries to our humanity we may have been overextending or pushing.
May we be Catholics or not, the Holy Week presents us with the opportunity to stop, reflect and listen to ourselves- our belief, our spirituality, our own faith.
If there’s anything common amongst all Filipinos, Christians or Muslims, Catholics or not, it is that the Holy Week presents us with four days free of the normal everyday rush and with the opportunity to pause our lives momentarily.