PSYCHOTROPIC | It’s between you and your faith

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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TERMINALS are bustling with passengers. Establishments start shortening their work hours. Families start planning which beach or resort they will spend the week in. You can feel it in the humid air; Holy Week is upon us.

It is the only week of the year that all business establishments observe as a holiday (even Christmas has the employees at malls doing overtime.) It is the week where you can catch up on all the rest you lack from the year’s work, it is the week where everyone flocks to go home to their provinces. Holy Week for most is a vacation.

The way Holy Week is spent though has changed a lot through the years. When my mother was even younger than I am now (I’m not going to reveal that though), she said that during Holy Week the whole neighborhood would be quiet. No laughing, no loud talking, no cars, no noise especially on Good Friday. Every form of enjoyment would be put on hold until Easter Sunday. Going out of your house and travelling to leisure spots was big taboo.

Now however, it is as if it’s taboo to not go on a vacation. Holy Week has become peak season for resorts. Some resorts are even Holy Week-themed with Stations of the Cross surrounding their swimming pools. Stores and malls now shorten their work hours, but they still try to stretch as much time as they can into business. Before however, no establishments were open the whole day from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday. Shopping districts became Ghost towns.

When our elderly look at the way Holy Week is spent now, they can’t help but shake their heads in disgust. It’s something they are not used too. They were taught that Holy Week was a time for sacrifice and fasting. Before you were supposed to eat simple food during Holy week, but now seafood restaurants have a heyday once the season of Lent starts. Some non-seafood based restaurants even have limited edition Lent specials on their menu whenever this time of the years comes.

When I come to think of it though, I don’t think people should make a big deal out of how Holy Week is spent. The usual confession, Visita Iglesia, Stations of the cross, these are customs that have been passed down by our elders. However nowadays, not everyone keeps these traditions alive. Even fasting and abstaining take back seats with our lifestyle now.

I think it is because people now notice that doing those traditions doesn’t make them more sanctified than they were before. Going to confession, remembering Jesus, refraining from doing harmful acts, these are not things that should be done only during Holy Week. Doing all these doesn’t make you cleaner or more holy than everyone else around you. Holy week is the time you remember and refresh yourself about all the values you should live up all year round.

So if some people look to Holy Week as a time to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to spend time with their families, then just leave them be. If people prefer to be more traditional and practice the old Holy Week customs then leave them be. As with so many other things in life the way people think of sanctity and religious traditions is changing. We have come to realize that attributing superstition to religion is not good. If you are not able to practice all the Holy Week customs don’t stress out.

What other people think of you doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, how you live your life is between you and your faith./PN





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