BERLINews  Online News Service of the Philippine Community in Berlin - Nr. 41

Click foto to enlarge image. Holy Week integrates Filipino Traditions
      Holy Week is one of the most solemn, colorful and touching religious events among Filipinos both in the Philippines and abroad, like in Berlin. It is a week of praying, singing, mourning and celebrating. The occasion captures the sorrowful and festive aspects of human life. Holy Week or "Mahal na Araw" shows various Filipino Traditions which have been handed down from many generations. The days from April 9 to 16 were meaningful for many Filipinos and Germans in Berlin because of some Filipino Traditions which were integrated in the Holy Week Liturgy.

       "Pagbabasbas ng Palaspas." With the blessing of the palms, the Community re-enacted the triumphant entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem which also signals the beginning of the Holy Week. "Cenaculo", a passion play on the life and death of Jesus was portrayed during Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Holy Thursday started with a short recollection where the documentary film, "Kuwaresma" on the Holy Week practices in the Philippines was shown. The day was marked by the washing of the feet of the 12 disciples. The Last Supper Liturgy ended with a short procession to the Church of the Adoration Sisters as a fitting start of the traditional "Visita Iglesias".
      The Filipino Holy Week would never be complete without the "Pasyon", the continuous singing of the salvation history.

       Good Friday was a day of prayer and fasting. At 10 am people started the "Daan ng Krus", the Way of the Cross, tracing the death and resurrection of Christ. The venue was in a cemetery which even intensified the reflection for this day. At 2 pm, the reflections, prayers and songs on the Seven Last Words (Siete Palabras) were held at the St. George's Church. The sadness of the Good Friday turned into joy on Easter Sunday, The musical play with "Salubong" was the highlight of the mediation on the resurrection of Christ.

       Holy Week 2006 in Berlin was again a journey of faith and sacrifice. It was an intensive week of prayer and reflection on the meaning of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. Once again, the community was able to re-live some of the meaningful Filipino religious traditions which nourish their spiritual life, in a home away from home.

    Pater Adonis Narcelles Jr. Email: