The Lenten season or the Holy Week in the Philippines is a tradition that was assimilated into the Filipino society during the Spanish regime. Maundy Thursday is one of the vital emphases of this week. Filipinos have been observing this day as a very substantial sacred holiday that remembers the passion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When is Maundy Thursday in Philippines 2015
Maundy Thursday in Philippines 2015 in the 2nd of April, a Thursday.
Maundy Thursday is the fifth day of the Holy Week preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday
The date is always between March 19 and April 22 all-encompassing.
Origin of Maundy Thursday in Philippines
The Philippines well-thought-out as a predominantly Roman Catholic country, regard the Easter celebration or Holy Week to be dominant in the religious and national calendar.
Maundy Thursday is observed to venerate the events leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ including the Last Supper with His 12 disciples (or what the Catholic called as the Eucharist) and the “Washing of the Feet.” It also remembers the agony of Jesus Christ when He was praying to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal of Judas Iscariot.
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word, mandatum which means commandment. During the Last Supper according to the Bible, Jesus is leaving a new commandment to His disciple to love one another just as He had loved them.
Maundy Thursday as a Public Holiday
Maundy Thursday was officially declared as a public and official holiday by the Republic Act (RA) 9492 in 24th of July 2006. National offices and other major business ventures are closed from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday. Some Television channels are also down during these days while others are broadcasting shows or series connected to the celebration.
Customs and Traditions of Maundy Thursday in Philippines
In the Roman Catholic religion in the Philippines, there are bunch of customs and traditions that simply symbolize the sacredness of Maundy Thursday and the unswerving profession of faith and belief of the people towards God.
Some of these are the re-enactment of the events in Jesus’ life before He was crucified. The ceremonial Washing of the feet is carried out in the churches by the priest and the Breaking of the Bread in the Last Supper. Devout Catholics go to church every day to attend the mass. Some of them are doing a fasting from food for a week or simply refraining from drinking alcohol or smoking. Some are refraining from eating meat, and eating fish and vegetables instead.
While this day is observed, some places are noticeably quiet with no radios playing loud music and some TVs are off for this is a time of solemn atonement. You will only hear the conventional “Pabasa” or the reading and chanting of the passages about the sufferings of Christ. Another customary of Filipinos is the “Visita Iglesia” which means visiting churches where they actually visit 7 or 14 churches as a symbol of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Procession of the Blessed Sacrament is also held in the evening.
Conspicuous Custom of Maundy Thursday in Philippines
But what totally is distinctive among other countries in observance of Maundy Thursday is that the custom of Filipinos scourging and beating themselves at the back and other parts of their body as the re-enactment of the torment and anguish that Jesus had experienced. Aside from that there some of them choose to have their hands and feet nailed to the wooden cross. Crown of thorns are placed in their heads so the blood will flow. They believed that if they do these things their sins for the year will be lessened or be totally forgiven by God.
Maundy Thursday in Philippines 2016
Maundy Thursday will be observed on 24th day of April, a Thursday.