Friday, April 25, 2008

Observance of SEMANA SANTA


Semana Santa is an annual Catholic tradition commemorating the pains and sufferings of Jesus Christ to save the world from sins. It is also referred to as Cuaresma, Mahal na Araw or Holy Week and usually observed either in the month of March or April. This is considered as one of the most important religious festivals of the entire year.

Palm Sunday

The Holy Week is started with Palm Sunday or Domingo Ramus where parishioners attend mass bringing their palm fronds composed of olive leaf, braided coconut leaves, San Francisco leaves, with aromatic anis stalk with its flowers and seeds for blessing. After mass, the people approached the altar with the priest blessing the palm leaves with holy water. It is people’s belief that palm leaves give protection and security to the home and family throughout the year. It can even ward off evil spirits and avert lightning if placed in windows or front doors.

Good Friday

Good Friday is the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died. There was a solemn street procession of all the images and religious icons. They take them in floats to streets with candles.

Siete Palabras

I remember last year, my mom hosted the Siete Palabras or the reading of the last seven words at home. It was attended by members of the Nazareno association from the entire province of Pangasinan.

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