Holy Week in Baguio: ‘Not only for recreation but conversion’
Baguio Bishop Victor B. Bendico leading the Palm Sunday celebrations at Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, Baguio City. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHANTRY LEY DALILIS
By Fr. Mickey Cardenas
March 28, 2018
Holy Week in the city popularly known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” is not only a time for vacation or recreation but for deepening one’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
“[Holy Week is a week of] prayer, penance, and good works not forgetting that Holy Week are days of gratitude to God because His mercy is forever,” said Baguio Bishop Victor B. Bendico during a Palm Sunday Mass.
For the clergy and faithful of this diocese the days that officially begin the hot season in the country must be seen as opportunities for meaningful encounters with Jesus through the various celebrations of His Passion, death, and resurrection.
Bendico also reminded the faithful that the palms branches are a reminder of the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, thus they should also serve as a sign of Jesus being welcomed into one’s home.
The bishop even stressed that the palm branches, or “palaspas”, are not meant to be used as amulets or “anting-anting”.
“Palm branches are kept in homes as witnesses to faith in Jesus Christ, the Messianic King. In His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He used a donkey as a sign of humility,” explained the prelate.
Following the practice in the diocese, and in conformity with liturgical laws, in consideration of the clergy and faithful from the far-flung parishes, the Chrism Mass was celebrated on Holy Tuesday at Our Lady of Atonement
Cathedral with the participation of the bishop, clergy, and a huge representation of the faithful, both lay and religious, to highlight the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.
Grand Good Friday procession
On Good Friday, aside from the usual devotions and the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion in parishes, faithful from all over the city will participate in the procession of images or “carrozas” depicting the Passion of Christ.
The grand Good Friday procession will start at the Baguio Cathedral, pass through Session Road and Magsaysay-Harrison Road, returning to the Cathedral.
Opportunities for reconciliation
Many opportunities to be reconciled with God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered as well to the faithful.
For instance, at the Baguio Cathedral, confessions are heard everyday during the Holy Week.
On Holy Thursday and on Good Friday, priests will hear confessions from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. and from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Holy Saturday.
The Easter Vigil services in parishes in this city, such as at Baguio Cathedral, will begin at 7:00 p.m. The traditional “Salubong” of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the risen Jesus will be held at 4:00 a.m. at the Cathedral grounds.
For more details, interested parties may get updates on the Holy Week celebrations at the “Diocese of Baguio” Facebook page.