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Remembering Lenten Celebrations
Saturday, March 22, 2008
"Amy, it's not good to listen to the radio, or watch television, or sing out loud, or play noisily", my mom would tell me at the start of every Lenten season. That was when I was a tween or even younger. There was nothing to watch on TV anyway as every channel would go off-air during this time of the year. Nothing to listen to on the radio either. So my sister and I would just sit in one corner and whisper silly things to one another.

When I was already studying in UST, summer vacation used to start on Holy Week. And along the stretch of the long road from Manila to Pangasinan, I can only hear the singing of the Pasyon and nothing else. People would flock Catholic churches doing their private devotions in the morning and ceremonies were usually held in the afternoons.

Just to be able to occupy a seat, my family and I used to go to church early to attend the church ceremonies. If we go on a later time, we will surely have difficulty entering the church premises as the place would be jampacked with people from all sorts of life. Some of them you don't even know as there would be lots of visitors from other places, and people from the barrios who seldom hear mass regularly make it a point to attend the Lenten celebration. The place would be very hot.

As part of the sacrifice, we were not allowed to eat meat (Fasting and Abstinence). So mom would see to it that there would be enough fish in the freezer to last until Easter, at which time we would feast, with plenty of food on the table.

These traditions that we learned from our parents, me and my husband try to impart to our children. At home it is the same as what we do back then. We try to ask the kids to do their own little sacrifices just so they would know the meaning of what we are doing.

But personally I think very few people nowadays know the real meaning of all these celebrations. Stores are still open even on Good Friday, fasting and abstinence are no longer observed by most, and fewer people go to church. Most of them are in the beach and resorts having their grand vacation. One Catholic priest openly said during the Palm Sunday mass that these days are non-working days because we have our holy obligation to fulfill.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:51 AM  
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About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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