Good Friday is also known as great Friday, Holy Friday, fast day and for the Filipino people, as Biyernes Santo. It is probably the main event of Lenten season for Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.
Holy or Good Friday is a public holiday. While, job breaks in some offices and business establishments usually starts with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday is the period where Filipino Catholics are obliged to refrain from their usual works except for hospitals and for some necessity, food or drug outlets.
Since the early times, Filipinos have numerous religious practices during Good Friday. The following are common traditions.
Fasting a common tradition since Good Friday is also known as fast day. Here, healthy Filipino Catholics from age 18 to 59 are required to eat one full meal and if needed, two small snacks that together do not make a full meal. Catholics over the age of 14 are also to abstain from utilizing meat.
- Three-hour agony meditation
Mass is not celebrated during holy Friday. Instead, Catholic churches hold a three-hour meditation, from midday to 3pm in the afternoon. The three-hour meditation includes the reflection on the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross.
- Fourteen Stations of the Cross
The Fourteen Stations of the Cross is also known as the way to the cross, Via Crusis and Via Dolorosa. The Fourteen Stations of the Cross refers to the portrayal of the final hours of Jesus. This prayer is done either inside or outside the church.
The Fourteen Stations of the Cross can be performed personally by making way from one station to another and saying the prayers; or by having someone to lead the prayer while the other make the responses.
Pasyon from the Spanish word ‘Pasion’ is a narration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is in a form of poetry with stanzas of five lines with each line having eight syllables. This tradition involves the singing the whole book of Pasyon. Singers will chant the verses of the Pasyon without recess from beginning to end in front of shrine or altar.
- Funeral procession of the deceased Christ
The funeral procession of the deceased Christ known as Mahal na Senyor or Sto. Entierro starts towards the evening, from four to six in the afternoon. This procession involves images of other saints that always end with the last image of Our Lady of Sorrows, before the statue of Sto. Entierro.
Senakulo is a dramatization of the life and death of Jesus. Younger generations perform this in plazas. However, in some locations in the Philippines, penitents perform the senakulo with the self-mortification and the nailing to an actual cross.
Some Good Friday Filipino traditions may raise questions for non-Catholic individuals. They may think some practices are bizarre yet for these devotees and penitents, it is their belief that counts.
(c) Phoenix Montoya @ April 18, 2011
Publish and earn at Triond
Other articles by this author: