Manila, Philippines – Bishops, together with priests in their dioceses, will celebrate Chrism Mass today, Maundy Thursday, early in the morning as a manifestation of the unity of the priests with their bishops.
Church rites will include the blessing by the bishop of the three oils that will be used in the administration of the sacraments of the diocese for the year. They are the oil of catechumens to be used for the administration of the sacrament of baptism, the oil of infirm for the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, and the holy chrism for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders.
Tonight, the mass of the Lord’s Supper that includes the re-enactment of the Washing of the Feet (Pedilavium), will be held, in which a priest, after the homily, will wash the feet of 12 individuals in commemoration of Jesus’ perfect display of humility and servant hood at the start of the Last Supper. (Christina I. Hermoso)
The Catholic Church stressed yesterday that conversion is more meaningful than public display of suffering such as crucifixion and self-flaggelation.
It once again frowned on the 20 penitents who will be nailed to the cross in a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Barangay San Pedro Cutud, San Fernando City, Pampanga.
“It seems it is becoming more of a public display of suffering. I don’t think the Lord wants that. Suffering must be internal but deeply personal,” said Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (ECY-CBCP).
“There are other forms of sacrifice and suffering that would lead to real conversion. That is more important suffering and sacrifice that leads to conversion and not public display,” he added.
Baylon said the faithful need not subject themselves to extreme forms of sacrifice such as crucifixion and self-flagellation because the Lord already sacrificed Himself for us. “The Lord already did it for us we don’t need to replicate it,” he said. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)
Provincial passenger traffic started to peak yesterday, Holy Wednesday, as metropolitan residents started traveling to their hometowns for the Holy Week break.
According to Alex Yague of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP), the bulk of province-bound passengers was felt in various provincial bus terminals in Metro Manila.
“We expected the bulk of passengers last night. So far, provincial bus operators have enough buses to cope with the expected surge in passengers,” he said.
Yague said passengers going to Visayas and Mindanao left last week and those going to Bicol and Northern Luzon started travel since the weekend. “Those going to provinces adjacent to Metro Manila will start to travel yesterday,” he added.
He said bus operators are expecting an increase in passenger volume this Holy Week since the long Lenten vacation will extend to April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan, a non-working holiday. (Kris Bayos)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – As part of his observance of the Holy Week, President Benigno S. Aquino III promised to pray for his predecessor, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo, who will celebrate her 65th birth anniversary today, and Chief Justice Renato C. Corona with whom he has a word war.
Aquino, who refrained from giving his birth anniversary wish for Mrs. Arroyo, vowed not to swipe at anyone as the nation observes Maundy Thursday.
“Sorry, Lent hindi ako makikipag-away (I won’t make a fight),” he said during his coffee meeting with the Philippine media delegation at the Sofitel here last Tuesday night.
In Manila, deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said that Malacañang was hoping that Mrs. Arroyo and Corona would have a meaningful observance of the Holy Week. (Charissa M. Luci)