April 17, 2024

There are four non-working days during the Holy Week. These are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday. It is during these days that the Christendom commemorates, the death, the passion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the recognized God and the accepted Savior of Christians. Hence, Holy Week, which is also called the Lenten Season, is the most important celebration that is being observed by Christians.
Through the years, Holy Week has evolved from being an exclusive religious celebration into a period of rest and recreation.
It is during this period that Filipinos take a break from their hectic schedule by going to the beach, traveling out-of-town and spent time with relatives and friends. Since the Holy Week has become a long week of rest, it essentially stripped itself of its religious origins.
While it is true that the tradition of fasting, penance and abstinence are still being invoked, the practices are no longer as prevailing as before.
The modern-day Christians no longer fast and abstain and if they do, only those who belong to the old school of tough abide with it. On the contrary, the Holy Week is transformed into a national fiesta where majority of the people celebrate and indulge.
For this, the Church is alarmed that Christians are no longer as devout as they were. Indeed, it is very worrisome since the foundation of Christianity are the traditions and dogmas that were implemented by the elders of the Church.
Yet, believers are no longer traditionalists and are no longer afraid of the sanctions that may be imposed on their souls due to the non-observance of these traditions practiced during the Holy Week. In fact, they willingly and knowingly defy it with the justification that faith alone in God is more than enough to compensate their non-observance. But can you blame Christians if they are abandoning the traditions?
For many believers, religious traditions have outlasted themselves. Traditions, which trace its roots from Mosaic law (of the law of Moses which is embodied in the Old Testament), was amended and liberalized by the teachings of Jesus Christ. For instance, fasting on Good Friday may no longer be applicable since Jesus said that “what makes you impure is not what you eat but what comes out of your mouth.”
Another is that doing penance may no longer be required since “it is by faith that we’re saved and not by works, lest any man boast.”
Truly, the teachings of Jesus Christ make it easier to be a Christian than to rely on the traditions. Besides, the traditions that we follow are too taxing for our own good. Why should I fast when everybody else is eating so much gusto? Why should I suffer when it is enough that I lock myself in my bedroom and sincerely ask Jesus Christ to be my savior?
Why suffer and sacrifice for the long road to heaven when there is a shorter and easier route?
Honestly, the mindset of the new generation when it comes to observing the Holy Week is no longer to visit churches, give offerings, line up towards confessional boxes, attend retreats or simply deny themselves by sacrificing some of their whims and caprices. Instead, it has become a season of celebration where they can travel and have fun to their hearts content.
Does this mean that we have become less Christian than our forefathers? Not the least. For there are other ways to honor and adore God than just by observing traditions.