Faithful fill Cebu Cathedral to reflect, join Good Friday’s religious activities
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebuanos filled the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Good Friday, April 19, in reflection and participation with one of the highlighted events during Holy Week.
The Siete Palabras, or the reflections on the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, started at noon, followed by a Eucharistic celebration of Christ’s passion and veneration and finally, the procession of Santo Entierro or the Holy Burial at past 4 p.m.
Read more: How Cebuanos celebrate Good Friday in photos
This year’s reflections on Christ’s last words on the cross or the Siete Palabras at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral focused on the importance of culture which molds the youth.
Reflecting on the seven last words of Jesus Christ is one of the important practices by Catholics during Good Friday.
Fr. Joriz Foz Calsa, SDB, head of the Commission on Youth, implored the proper use of technology amid its wide and convenient use in the modern era, especially among the youth.
He also emphasized that culture was to blame, not the youth, on the changing habits of people.
“Youth ba gyud and nagsugod sa kining tanan? (Were the youth the ones who started all of these?)” Calsa asked during his sharing on the first word, “Amahan, pasayloa sila kay wala sila nasayod sa ilang gibuhat (Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing).”
“Biktima sab sila sa kultura nga atong gihimo (They are also victims of culture that we have created),” he added.
Aside from the youth, woman empowerment was also shared during the solemn event as discussed in the third last words, which was shared by Lawyer Maria Liza Jorda.
Jorda, Tacloban City Prosecutor and former Cebu City Prosecutor, reminded the faithful of the great role of the Virgin Mary to Earth’s salvation as she reflected on the third word, “Babaye, ania ang imong anak. Anak, ania ang imong inahan (Woman, behold your son … Behold, this is your mother).”
Jorda cited her empathy to the overseas Filipino workers, especially young ones, who worked abroad and had experienced abuses.
She said that the Virgin Mary, and how she suffered on seeing his son, Jesus Christ suffer.
A former drug addict, Alan Andrei, Badayos, who had kicked the habit, shared his experience as he discussed the fifth last words of “I thirst.”
He said that anyone could beat the habit, but only if one would be with God.
A parent and his son reflected on the 7th last words, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
They shared about how the church had helped in guiding them in their daily lives. The parent, who had difficulty communicating with the son, found guidance in how this can be done in the church.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma closed the reflections by reminding the Cebuanos of the importance of prayer and to stay connected to the word of the Lord.
“Ang pulong sa makagagahum, magbunga og mas kusog nga pagtuo ug mas lawm nga paghigugma,” Palma said.
(The words of the Lord, can make one’s faith and love stronger and deeper.)
A Eucharistic celebration on the Christ’s passion followed at 3 p.m., the time when Christ died.
Attendees kissed and venerated to the crucifix, a symbol of Christ’s love through the cross, and along with it the deliverance of the world.
A crowd of faithful filled the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for the solemn activities held there for Good Friday and many more flocked and joined the solemn procession of the Santo Entierro in the late afternoon./dbs
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