A Happiest Easter to everyone! Like what our dear Rector always says, the glory of Easter Sunday must pass through the sufferings of Good Friday.
How did your Holy Week and Paschal Triduum go? Mine was busy as usual at church, the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. For the longest time, I have never been on Holy Week vacation. But I’d rather have it that way. It’s such a fulfilling feeling for my husband and I to serve. Always, Christmas and Easter seasons are the busiest for church musicians, don’t you agree?
Thursday we had the Washing of the Feet and reenactment of the Last Supper. Chosen Apostle Actors took part in the Washing of the Feet. It has always been a challenge for our rector to find apostle actors, and he tells us that he really prays for whoever is chosen. My husband had his turn as apostle actor seven years ago, when we were on our second year serving the Shrine.
Friday, we participated in the Via Crucis for Good Weather organized by Radio Veritas, and participated by the Vicariate of Sta. Clara de Montefalco. The walk took us from San Juan de Dios Hospital to Manila Cathedral, all seven kilometers of it, from dawn to midday. It was tiring and hot but we did not feel it because we were walking with so many people and to trace the way of Jesus to his death and resurrection was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
In the same afternoon, we had the Veneration of the Cross, followed by the Daang Krus sa Kalye, where the Apostle Actors and our priests led by our Rector, Monsignor Bobby Canlas, carried a cross from one station to another. My husband was the assigned guitarist during the Way of the Cross. It was a challenge for all of us in the music ministry cos we had to walk and sing through a throng of people.
Saturday was the Easter Vigil Mass in the evening. The Shrine of Jesus’ Easter Vigil Mass is known for its Resurrection effect productions every year. We even has laser shows in the past couple of years. Mons Bobby makes sure that each Easter Vigil Mass is solemn, unique and special.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we had a children’s Mass followed by Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. Then a concelebrated Mass was held, usually celebrated by a bishop. This time it’s Bishop Ted Bacani. Masses with Bishop Bacani are truly memorable. Mons Bobby asked for a special blessing from the bishop for the massgoers on wheelchairs. Some of them we regularly see in our masses. They were also given an image of the Our Lady of Lourdes, the patron of the sick.
I thank the Lord for sustaining all of us with good health during the Holy Week. The Shrine of Jesus Rectors Council and volunteers are some amazing people I have met. They come from different places and backgrounds, yet we come together as one in serving at the church the Lord entrusted to us. In this Year of the Laity, I am ever reminded of our role in the church, to be an active part of it. Not only through service but by through example.
Celebrating the Holy Week always brings forth a lesson and a blessing to me. For this year, it was another opportunity to assess what God calls me to do, and to always listen to Him. It does not pay off well when I don’t pray for something and just go with the flow. I am reminded to discern well the choices I am making. And to always keep things real.