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» 04/08/2009
Easter in Manila, kissing the cross of Jesus
by Santosh Digal
Holy Week is accompanied by traditional local ceremonies that unite families and gather the neighborhood together. Cardinal Vidal calls upon young people to reject the "simplistic ideas" of today's society.

Manila (AsiaNews) - For Filipino Catholics, Holy Week is accompanied by the singing of the Pabasa, the account of the passion, the death and resurrection of Jesus, in Tagalog. "It is our own style of professing our faith," explains Marfic Castro, a 46-year-old mother of two young girls, "of expressing our love for Jesus and participating in his passion."

The rhythmic songs of the Pabasa and the reading of the Pasiong Mahal, the narration of the passion in Tagalog, are rituals that unite families and gather the neighborhood together during Lent, and in particular during Holy Week. For this Easter, the Filipino Church has invited the faithful to rediscover its community value, as much as its personal one.

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, media director for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, explains to AsiaNews that Catholics in the country are invited to reflect on the traditional practices and liturgical moments of the Easter Triduum. "When a person kisses Christ who carries His cross," Msgr. Quitorio says, "it also means that he or she is also kissing his or her personal cross. The irony is that many people thought, in their superstitious belief, that when they kiss the cross they want Christ to ease their burdens. People should embrace the crosses in their lives."

The exhortation to immerse oneself in the passion and death of the Lord is the invitation that the Church of the Philippines is addressing to young people in particular. Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, reiterated this during World Youth Day, celebrated at the diocesan level this year. Cardinal Vidal asked the 3,000 young people gathered for the four-day celebration at the shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in Naga City, in the southern part of the country, not to give themselves over to the simplistic ideas that today's society proposes, but to open themselves to the love of Jesus, who gave his own life for every person.

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See also
08/18/2005 GERMANY – WYD
Benedict XVI: WYD, where cultures and traditions meet, a blessing for Germany and the world
09/10/2008 VATICAN
Pope: SMS to young people of Sydney, who respond
08/26/2004 VATICAN
Pope tells young people to worship God to be free
08/18/2005 GERMANY – WYD
Pope: Take up John Paul's legacy and commit yourselves to serve Christ
07/27/2008 VATICAN
For the Pope Sydney is the young face of the Church
Easter under heavy security for Catholics of Bangladesh
Bishops of Sri Lanka: Prayers to the risen Christ for peace and unity in the country
Easter, truth is the road to peace among peoples, says Mgr Menamparampil
Easter solidarity in a Vietnam where poverty and marginalisation are at home
Bishop of Orissa: fear surrounds Easter because of tension over elections
Almost calm Easter celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra
Pope: the Risen One continues seeking people to help him to establish justice, truth, and love
Pope: with the Resurrection, the light of God spreads through the world and history
Let us contemplate the face that changed the world, that answered hatred with love, says Pope
Via Crucis: Jesus continues to suffer and die today
Easter in Pakistan: from full churches to prison missions
Card Zen’s last pastoral letter to the Church of Hong Kong and China
Thailand, 283 converts to receive baptism at Easter
Easter among the Muslims, in the land of Saint Paul
2,000 young people of the diocese of Saigon prepare to become Catholics at Easter

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