This Holy Week I was once again immersed in our family tradition of the "Pabasa" (the Passion of Christ is sang by believers). Here's a picture of our Nazareno (Jesus carrying the cross). The Nazareno, "Mamong" as we so fondly call him was owned by my family for more than 150 years already. It was passed on from generation after generation and we still continue to do this tradition until today.
It starts Holy Wednesday when we would prepare the Karosa where the statue of the Nazareno is held together with Simon carrying a big black cross. A "live" station of the Cross is commemorated along the streets.
When I was much younger the whole clan, mostly the female ones, would be busy in the kitchen cutting away vegetables, peeling potatos, washing plates and kitchen utensils. The kids would be assigned to put sampaguitas in long sticks for the karosa. The male members of the family would be busy preparing the sound system and the altar where it will all happen. Everyone has a role to play, no one was left out, even the little ones. I remembered looking forward to this time of the year because it was also a time where I would meet my cousins again and we would have a great time.
Many people would come over my grandmother's house. Mostly people from the church, our parish priest, bishops, nuns and yup even politicians.
After the karosa has been decorated and the 14 miniature crosses distributed to other houses after the mass our family will be hosting the yearly "live" Station of the Cross along the streets. Before we walked barefoot along the streets as a form of sacrifice. But I guess things have changed a lot as well.
It was was more real to me back then, His passion and His pains. The Holy Week when I was little was more holier than it is now. I remember my grandmother and my aunts teaching us, mostly six-year-olds how to cook, cut vegetables and become very helpful in the kitchen. We were taught not to play, not to laugh so much and be very quiet mostly all throughout the week - as a form of sacrifice.
Today I saw the week as a respite from work, when I could clean the house, remove stuff from the refrigerator, spend time with my family and catch up on some reading and probably watch some DVDs. If my grandma and aunts would see us now they would probably turn in their graves at the way we spend the "HOLY Week". But then for me being with the family is a Holy time. It's a time where I remember that this is the reason why I am alive, the very reason I breath and the very reason why I want to wake up and face the day again tomorrow.
"It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing."
Hope you guys have a peaceful Holy Week.