Spend Holy Week in churches, not on beaches – bishop

The archbishop said he understood people’s desire to take time off and go on a vacation but reminded people to not forget the real essence of the Holy Week.

Ador Vincent Mayol

Ador Vincent Mayol

Philippine Daily Inquirer



April 5, 2023

MANILA — Instead of going to the beach, the Catholic faithful should spend the Lenten break reflecting and praying in church, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said on Sunday.

The prelate said the Holy Week — the most solemn period in the Church’s liturgical calendar when Christians relive the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago — was the best time to renew one’s relationship with God and reflect on the Lord’s sacrifice.

“Once a year, there is such a thing as Holy Week. It’s not that other weeks are unholy. What I want to convey is that the greatest mysteries of our faith are commemorated during the Holy Week,” Palma said in his homily during the Palm Sunday Mass at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

The archbishop said he understood people’s desire to take time off and go on a vacation, “but let us not forget the real essence of the Holy Week.”

“Let us ponder upon God’s great love for us — a love manifested through suffering and death,” he added.

Palma called on the people to instead take part in various Church activities to appreciate God’s “all-encompassing love.”

“All people have sinned, but it was Jesus who suffered on our behalf. He endured all the pain, ridicule, and even death on a cross. And this is what Jesus did to save humanity,” he said.

Unlike in 2020 and 2021, all churches are now open to accommodate the faithful, Palma said. “Let us appreciate the physical presence of God.”

The Holy Week, which started with Palm Sunday, caps the 40-day season of Lent leading to a celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Posting travel photos
Also on Tuesday, the Philippine National Police reminded people on vacation during the long break to avoid posting pictures of their travels online so as not to tip off burglars who might be monitoring social media for potential victims.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said vacationers should take care to secure their homes.

Fajardo reminded them to keep doors and windows locked and to inform trusted neighbors to keep an eye on their property.

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