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Palm Sunday: Christians Prepare for Holy Week, San Fernando Expects Thousands of Visitors to Witness Reenactment of Christ’s Agony

By on Mar 29, 2012 in Asia, Events, Holidays, Opinion, World Comments

Jesus Christ’s Entry to Jerusalem
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The Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, April 1, which is observed by Christians as the entry of Jesus Christ to the City of Jerusalem generations ago. Christians all over the world prepare for the Holy Week through fasting, penitence, fulfilling the sacraments, reflections, offering the Way of the Cross and celebrating mass and the Seven Last Words.

The City of San Fernando, Philippines expects thousands of visitors during the Holy Week observation, from April 1 to  April 8, 2012, to witness the reenactment of Christ’s agony in Calvary.

Every year, throngs of local and foreign tourists visit the place to watch penitents use whiplashes and carry crosses around the city up to the man-made Calvary to atone for their sins. Local bible reading of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ (Pabasa) is also done in sitios all over the city.

The local Catholic Church does not encourage the use of self-inflicted pain however, but penitents have great faith that this would “heal” them. This came as some of the penitents allowed themselves to be actually nailed to the cross, just as Jesus Christ was believed to have done thousands of years ago.

The penitents have an unwavering faith that fulfilling this religious rite every year would protect them from sickness and bad fortune. They also do it to atone for their sins.

In other parts of the country, Catholics celebrate Holy Week, locally called Semana Santa, with processions as well as fasting. It is a week- long commemoration of Christ’s suffering in Calvary.

On Palm Sunday, Christians bring with them palm fronds to be blessed in church. They believe that these palm fronds would ward off bad fortune and evil spirits from their homes.

If Monday to Thursday is observed in solemnity and sadness, Christians all over the world welcome Easter Sunday with gladness and merrymaking because they believe that on that day, Christ has been resurrected to heaven.

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