Prepare your hearts and make your Holy Week celebration meaningful even when at home
The Holy Week is fast approaching, and with the current situation, we may still not celebrate it like we're used to. It's wiser to commemorate this solemn observance at home, where there are no large crowds. Traditional practices like participating in processions or Visita Iglesia can resume once it's safer to go out in public sans social distancing.
Now, you may be wondering what to do during the Holy Week. While nothing can replace the solemnity of saying your prayers in churches during the holiest week of the year for many Filipinos, there are still a few ways you can keep the traditions alive.
Below are some ways to prepare your hearts and make your Holy Week celebration meaningful even when at home.
Put on Holy Week titles on screen
If you have a Netflix subscription in the Philippines, you can spend this week by putting your "Continue Watching" titles on hold and opting for movies that feature religious and biblical themes.
Some of the faith-based titles you can watch on Netflix are The Two Popes (2019), The Jesus Code (2015) and Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018).
You can subscribe to Netflix without a credit card if you don’t have an account yet.
Have an Easter Sunday Feast
Since this is a time to reflect on one's spiritual health, Roman Catholics are encouraged to refrain from eating any type of meat (i.e. pork, chicken, beef, etc.) on Fridays and the entirety of Holy Week to honor the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. Instead, you can eat vegetables and various types of seafood.
Here are some Filipino dishes you can consume during this time: Ginisang Ampalaya (optional: with egg), Ginataang Tilapia, Fried Tilapia with Talong, Monggo Guisado with Tinapa.
Easter Egg scavenger hunt at home for the whole family
For your Easter celebration, you can do the classic Easter egg hunt indoors or around your garden for the little ones and the young at heart. You can use either real eggs dyed in vibrant colors or plastic eggs filled with candy or knick-knacks (or a mix of both) for the event. Ideally, set aside about 10 eggs for each person.
Hide the eggs in and around the house, some in more obvious locations and others in challenging spots that still make sense for kids. Don't forget to offer exciting Easter prizes and remind the children why the Easter egg hunt is a tradition for a memorable commemoration of Jesus' resurrection.
Watch a live stream of the church service
Thanks to the digital era, many parish priests and churches have started live-streaming their daily and Sunday masses online. While it's still different from worshipping God and publicly praying at a church, it's a safe way to be united in spiritual communion.
Take note of the time of the online live streams of the Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday masses of your local church or parish priest. As an alternative to church communion, you can take unleavened bread and grape juice
Hold a virtual Visita Iglesia
One of the creative ideas for Maundy Thursday that will allow you to practice your faith at home and continue your custom of visiting seven churches is by using Google Maps. You can view the streets and images of the church or marvel at the 360-degree views inside them, including the following:
- Manila Cathedral
- San Agustin Church
- Santo Sepulcro Parish
- St. James the Apostle Parish
- Basilica Menor del Santo Niño
- Our Lady of the Gate Parish
- San Pedro Cathedral
Are you wondering how to celebrate Good Friday? Good Friday is traditionally spent to reflect. With many Roman Catholics participating in processions during this day, you can take time to meditate at home and solemnly honor how Jesus suffered for your sins.
Put your screen down for a while and try to read and reflect on notable passages in the Bible. You can also try meditation apps to help you find calmness, wellness and balance in your life.
Observe the Sacred Days at Home with Unshaken Faith
Stay safe at home and observe this time of solemnity and devotion virtually. Take this opportunity to immerse in reflection at the comforts of your abode. As you pray for better times, may your Holy Week at home with your family be an enriching time for you to pause and reflect on your spirituality, your faith and how you live your life as a Christian.