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Holy Week

Holy Week
(Latin: Hebdomada Sancta or Maior Hebdomada, "Greater Week") in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Good Friday, and lasts from Palm Sunday (or in the Eastern, Lazarus Saturday) until but not including Easter Sunday, as Easter Sunday is the first day of the new season of The Great Fifty Days. It commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ culminating in his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Holy Week in the Christian year is the week immediately before Easter. The earliest allusion to the custom of marking this week as a whole with special observances is to be found in the Apostolical Constitutions (v. 18, 19), dating from the latter half of the 3rd century and 4th century. In this text, abstinence from flesh is commanded for all the days, while for the Friday and Saturday an absolute fast is commanded. Dionysius Alexandrinus in his canonical epistle (AD 260), refers to the six fasting days implying that the observance of them had already become an established usage in his time.
There is some doubt about the genuineness of an ordinance attributed to Constantine, in which abstinence from public business was enforced for the seven days immediately preceding Easter Sunday, and also for the seven which followed it; the Codex Theodosianus, however, is explicit in ordering that all actions at law should cease, and the doors of all courts of law be closed during those fifteen days (1. ii. tit. viii.). Of the particular days of the "great week" the earliest to emerge into special prominence was naturally Good Friday. Next came the Sabbatum Magnum ("Great Sabbath", i.e., Holy Saturday or Easter Eve) with its vigil, which in the early church was associated with an expectation that the second advent would occur on an Easter Sunday.
There are other texts that refer to the traditions of the Early Church, most notably The Pilgrimage of Etheria (also known as The Pilgrimage of Egeria) which details the complete observance of Holy Week in the early church.

In a tradition set by its deeply religious Catholic society, Mahal Na Araw, or “Holy Week”, is a celebration commemorating the death of the Jesus Christ, on the cross to redeem the world from its sinful nature. It is usually marked by various religious activities that stretched through the whole week. They celebrate Holy Week in deepest of passion and reverence to said tradition. Usually signaling the start of the season is the marking of the foreheads with ashes on Ash Wednesday and culminates on a Sunday celebration of Easter, to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.

Within the season, sounds of chantings and hymnals will be heard from houses and streets, as devotees would usually put up shanties for the “Pabasa” , the hymnals celebrating the life and the passion of Christ; The “prusisyon”, a parading of the dead Christ would go around the town as devotees religiously recite their prayers. The “Salubong” is a presentation signifying the meeting of Jesus and Mary during the dawn of the resurrection.

This is also a season when Catholic devotees and Pilgrims from other places would come to visit the renowned San Ildefonso Church to be one among the Tanayans in celebrating the Holy week. This practice is commonly called “Visita Iglesia” (Church Visitation).

One of the most spectacular events to watch is the “ Penintensya”, where devotees would parade and voluntarily lash their bloodied bodies with bladed ropes as their way of repentance for their sin.; Some even go to the extent of hanging and nailing themselves on the cross to commemorate the divine crucifixion, not without the terrified look from among its spectators.

These traditional practices arose from their faith and belief that in sharing the wounds and the pains of Christ; leading one to reflect on the agony and the pain the Lord has to endure for His love of mankind.

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