Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy Week Then and Now

I was born into a very religious family. So Holy Week means really, really being extra-mega prayerful and, well, quiet.

I remember our Holy Weeks in the late 80s and very early 90s. I would be in elementary around those years. Holy weeks meant no regular TV programming starting Holy Monday till Easter Sunday. Add to that, no meat, no noise, no radio, no laughter and sometimes, no bath! Yes, we were prohibited from bathing, cutting our nails, getting a scratch or a wound for fear of it not healing faster than usual or not healing at all.

My brothers and I would spend Holy Weeks tending to house chores and going to church. If we got a tad-noisy or laughed, we were scolded. Our menu was made mainly of vegetables. Absolutely no pork or chicken or beef which was no problem with us since, being Ilocanos, we love vegetables anyway. Malls are practically closed the whole week too.

Nowadays, it's totally different! We have TV shows though much mellower and not the regular programming. The only day that malls are closed now is on Good Friday. Which is not entirely a problem since there are other establishments you can go to anyway that cater to the non-Holy week observing clients.

I will admit that my being religious has been reduced in recent years. I am still praying and believing in God but my devotion to Catholic rituals has been diminished. I believe that what is important is that you have faith in God, that you treat others well and that you bring glory to God by your deeds.

For others, Holy Week remains to be a week of devotion and solemn praying and church visits. On the other hand, it has become "a week to breathe" and to catch up on family and friends, on vacation. Whichever manner you choose to spend your Holy Week is up to you. For me this year, it's going to be simply time I will spend solely, mentally and physically, with my family.

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