Friday, April 6, 2012

The Catholic Way of Commemorating Good Friday in the Philippines

I think this is the most memorable Good Friday of my life because this is the first time I observed a Catholic way of commemorating Good Friday. Non-catholics like me are celebrating Good Friday in a different way. In my religion, we do not usually go out of the street and parade the cross. We just usually reflect on Jesus’ 7 last words on the cross every 3 PM of Good Friday.

Here in Davao City, every Catholic Church is commemorating Good Friday and they call this through a procession. This is where a huge group of Christian Catholics go out of the street for a parade.

This is the scene in the Holy Cross Church of Davao which is one block away from our church. And since we're done commemorating Good Friday in our church, I decided to join also the Catholic Church as they remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

These altar boys will commence the procession. They're yelling, chanting and teasing each others in preparation for the parade.

But they magically behaved like angels when the parade had started.

Next in line are the 11 disciples. I can't really identify whose imitating who, but one thing is for sure, Judas Iscariot is missing.

After the 11 disciples, they were followed by the cross. The cross that symbolizes Jesus' suffering. This is an enigma of human vulnerability. This is where powerful becomes powerless. And this is the reason why we have Good Friday.

The cross was then followed by a group of catholics.

 Then there appears to be a coffin. I was tempted to ask if there is a funeral but I just observed anyway.

Inside the coffin, I can see a dead human figure.

And I found out that it's just a replica of dead Christ.

People looks like mourning over the replica of a dead Christ. I now understand the literal meaning of "Biyernes Santo ang mukha".

And what shall I call them? Devotees?

And they walk, and walk, and walk.

The statue of Mother Mary also joined the procession.

They started singing hymn while walking.

People of all ages participated in the procession.

And I've waited until they all dissipated on this side of the street.

In the heart of Davao City, another catholic Church called San Pedro Church is also commemorating Good Friday. Security is very strict here.

The crowd is more congested.

And there are a lot of foreigners who would like to observe how Filipino Catholics celebrate this event.

Everybody is holding a candle.

And the highlight of the parade is not the cross or Jesus Christ. It's Mama Mary.

In the vicinity of San Pedro Church, I saw disabled man selling balloons.

Old woman selling candles.

Old man selling pamaypay.

And Kids selling candles and sampaguita.

So what's the essence of Good Friday?

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