The Importance of Lent to the Filipino Community

The Importance of Lent to the Filipino Community

Jan The Man’s Note

By Januel Cedrick Ibasco

As we are less than a month into March, this means the season of Lent is well underway. The season of Lent is a time of reflection in each one of our lives, and in how we as individuals can grow closer to God. Furthermore, Filipinos are well known around the world in believing and praising God. This month, I would like to explore a few traditions that occur in the Philippines during the Lenten season that Filipinos celebrate worldwide.

A common tradition that the Philippine community and Christians/Catholics follow during Lent is the practice of abstinence, that is abstaining from meat, preferably red meat (Maarandilla). ‘Fasting’ during Lent is also present in which individuals have a specific practice of eating, such as eating one meal instead of three in one day. These two practices are vital in exemplifying one’s sorrow for the sacrifices our Lord Jesus Christ made for mankind. Moreover, a common practice that go on throughout the world is ‘Maundy Thursday’, also known as ‘Holy Thursday’,where the priests during the celebration wash the parishioners’ feet as a representation of what Jesus did for his disciples. Presumably, this holy day comes before Good Friday, the day of Jesus Christ’ Crucifixion leading up to his resurrection presented on Easter Sunday. Churches all over Edmonton become filled with the many Filipinos accumulating this great City of Edmonton that help unite one another in their praise and sorrow of our Messiah. Next, I will be depicting a few more Lenten traditions that the Philippine community and Christians/Catholics find important during the month of March.

Another tradition that is practiced by the Philippine Community during lent is called ‘Pabasa’, where a group of people gather together and sing the Passion for Christ (Maarandilla). This practice is done by many Filipinos not only in Edmonton, but around the world to acknowledge the many sacrifices Jesus made for his people. The last vital tradition I will mention is called ‘Salubong’ which means “to meet”, this practice involves the image of Virgin Mary and how there is a black veil placed over her head showing her sadness because of her son’s death (Maarandilla). Next, an image of Jesus is carried during the procession of a church celebration where the two meet, hence the term ‘Salubong’. This convention is usually practiced by the Philippine community to show the importance of Mary seeing Jesus one last time before the Resurrection.

Lastly, let us all use this time to get closer to God and strengthen our faith with the Lord. During this time, we can all move towards the path Jesus leads us on by fasting, praying, and treating people with respect. All in all, the month of March is a crucial time in making an effort to ask for repentance in the hopes of achieving Resurrection.

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