‘Holy Week commemorates our salvation’ – priest

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MANILA, March 31, 2015 –- What exactly is Holy Week for?
According to a priest, it reminds the faithful of the Passion of Christ, which brought about man’s salvation.

“The Holy Week is celebrated to commemorate the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is to commemorate our redemption, to commemorate our salvation,” said Santisimo Rosario Parish priest Fr. Franklin F. Beltran, O.P. on Palm Sunday.

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) campus where the Santisimo Rosario Parish is located (Photo: Torio Flojo)

According to the priest, even if Holy Week is the most attended celebration of the liturgical calendar in the said parish, he continues to encourage more people to participate in the church’s celebrations related to the Lenten season.

Most awaited

“Since it is the death of Christ, the parishioners are all aware of that [and] I encourage that they all come…They also know that we prepare for this for a long time and this is what many people really wait for,” he explained in Filipino.

The entire Church marked the beginning of the Holy Week yesterday, Palm Sunday, with blessing of the palms taking place as early as 4:00 a.m.

The faithful came in full force to gather around 14 Cross stations inside the parish, as well as during the Holy Mass.

Beltran also shared that after Palm Sunday, forty-six priests of the said parish will begin their retreat for a week until Easter.

Every day until Holy Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. until evening, these 46 priests will administer the sacrament of reconciliation to the parishioners at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) campus.

Holy Week activities

On Holy Thursday, parishioners are invited to participate in the Chrism Mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral to be presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle.

For this year’s Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper with the washing of feet will be held at the UST Plaza Mayor in front of the UST Main building to be presided over by Fr. Rodel E. Aligan, O.P., the Prior of St. Thomas Aquinas Priory.

After which the procession of the Blessed sacrament follows, ending at the Santisimo Rosario Parish. Vigil before the Blessed Sacrament begins at 7:00 p.m., led by several organizations and lay faithful.

On Good Friday, there will be a Way of the Cross at 6:00 a.m. around the parish.

Also on the same day, Dominican priests will give reflections and teachings on the Seven Last Words. The celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the Santo Entierro Procession will be at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. respectively.

Easter Vigil starts at 10 p.m., which will be presided over by Beltran. White symbolizes baptism so everyone is encouraged to wear garments of this color.

On Easter Sunday, the Salubong and Easter Morning Mass will be at 4:30 a.m. at the UST Plaza Mayor.

Female penitents will accompany the image of Our Lady while the male penitents will escort the image of the Risen Lord. Masses will follow from 6:00 a.m. till 10:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. (Vanessa M. Puno/ CBCP news)

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