Filipinos take Holy Week very seriously. Many perform various acts to atone for their sins. They attend retreats, and go on periods of fasting. They give up something at Lenten season. They have less parties to attend, give alms to the poor, and compassionate to those who are difficult to forgive, attend masses and praying more often. All these are part of the “sacrifices” people give at Lenten time recalling the “Suffering Christ”; on how he accepted Dying on the Cross so that all may live. The culmination of Holy Week will be on Easter Sunday. On April 17th at 1:30 p.m., “SALUBONG” will be celebrated for the first time in the faith community of Incarnation Church (1001 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91202). The celebrant is Rev. Rodel Balagtas, Pastor of Incarnation Church.
“Salubong “ is the traditional Easter ritual that heralds Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. “Salubong “is a Tagalog word that refers to the act of meeting, receiving or welcoming someone arriving. It is the part of Filipino Christian tradition that goes back to the Spanish Colonial Period and is still alive and practiced today by some churches that have Filipino presence. The Salubong is a symbolic re-creation of the meeting between the Risen Christ and His Mother, The Blessed Virgin Mary. The sorrow of Our Blessed Mother is turned into joy when she saw Her Son alive.
Traditionally in the Philippines, Easter begins before dawn. The meeting of two images: The Risen Christ and the Blessed Mother covered with a mourning veil are processed, followed by the faithful. Children dressed in white who portray the role of angels remove the veil of sorrow. The song, “ Regina Caeli” (Queen of Heaven) is sung when procession starts. “Salubong” will be celebrated in Tagalog Mass at Incarnation Church. The Eucharistic celebration will be held in the afternoon to accommodate the reality of the parish. This year’s Easter prayer is focused on the end of Ukraine-Russian Conflict, Peaceful Elections in the Philippines, and most of all, for everyone to remain grounded in their faith. A dance of Thanksgiving and Welcome entitled “Sayaw Ng Pagbati” will be performed by the members of Vessel of Mary Liturgical Dance Group and Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Crusade members.
May Mallari (323) 401-0886
Ben Aranda (818) 437-1406
(Contributed by Jo Solomonson)