Its Holy Week and if you are a camarero, you can feel the busyness this week as you are prepping for the yearly procession. From clothes to wear down to the flowers, the preparation for the traditional prusisyon excites everyone. In our family, we have the image of St. Peter and Jesus Christ with the Roman Soldier. The tableaux of our holy images depicts the denial of St. Peter when asked if he knew Jesus Christ. I cannot exactly recall when does our images joined the yearly procession. For all I remember, when its Holy Week (Semana Santa), I am the most excited among my siblings. Since our childhood, my parents brought us to the procession every Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. All I know back then, we’re just there to accompany the carossa throughout the procession.
But as the time goes by, and as we gain more knowledge about it, the traditional procession is not just a mere strolling or accompanying the Holy Images. It is a sacred expression of faith and prayer. Since then, as much as I can, I am trying to avoid chit-chatting with my cousins or friends throughout the procession as a sign of respect. Instead, in silence, I whisper my prayers while holding a candle. The procession of the Holy Images depicts the story of Jesus Christ. It is not just a showcase of how grandeur the clothes and carossas of the images are, but it is the depiction, an illustration of what Jesus Christ went through while He was here on Earth.
Nowadays, you can notice many people are going to church when its Holy Week. When the Palm Sunday comes in, the church were filled of people holding fronds, waving and dancing to the air to catch the sprinkle of the holy water.
Then come Holy Monday, the church is barren, the mass is attended by few. Same scenario for Holy Tuesday. Here comes Holy Wednesday, the church is like the scene during Sunday, lots of people coming in from different directions. Many are in phalanx awaiting for the procession. And when the procession commences, many are enjoining. Few are praying, many are chit-chatting. Few are solemn, the crowds were generally noisy. Few are dressed for the occasion, many are wearing inappropriate dresses like they are in a fashion show. Then here comes the trash, the aftermath caused by humans. Why I am telling this? Because these becomes a ‘tradition’, an undying. and unruly behavior.
The magnanimity of the crowd during Holy Week is overwhelming and disappointing. This is the new nomal, a vicious cycle. And when the Easter period comes, its like we are in the period of Ordinary Time; literally and canonically- few are attending the mass.
This Holy Week, let us reflect and observe ourself: Am I doing this for the love of God? Or for myself? Is my demeanor acceptable when I am in the church or in a procession?