Good Friday in Lezo

Trip Start Mar 17, 2013
Trip End Apr 14, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Western Visayas,
Friday, March 29, 2013

Up early, early, early at 5 am to see the Stations of the Cross procession.  Good Friday is the most holy day of the year, and the most observed holiday in the Philippines.   While the alarm clock went off at 5, we didn't get moving until 6:15 and the procession had already started.   We quickly caught up to them though, as they were moving slowly through town, where small stations were set up around the town.  We followed along for a bit.  This was a very solumn location, being about the death of Jesus.   They marched slowly with one teen carrying a cross, and the apostles following, the priest was there, and the towns people following along.  Between stations they sang a hymn, and at the station a towns person read a prayer.   This happened at all 14 stations, until back at the church where yet another service started. 

The day was a quiet one, we headed back to the house after the stations and napped a bit

The huge procession was going to take place that evening, so we spent some time walking around to observe the floats being prepared.  Each float depicted a person involved in the Good Friday Story, finished by the body of Jesus.  As we visited were were offered lunch several times, we did have lunch with one of Allan's Classmates....of course, Good Friday - no meat was served but there was fish dishes galor.

We walked around town some more, and I swear this was the hottest day yet.   Each float was being adorned with flowers and set up for the somberness of Good Friday (The figures change as the weekend goes on)

Each of the floats headed towards the church to be ready for the service that was coming up at 4pm.   We headed to the church and found it to be standing room only.  Again, a nice service - wish I understood more.  It really was standing room only and when the townspeople were invited to kiss the cross the line up went far outside the door to the church.

it went on for two hours and then all the floats and figures were paraded around town with the last one being Jesus lying in state.  Every house along the route had candles burning, even homes under construction and homes that were empty. The townspeople, the apostles, the alter boys and the priest all sang sad songs. The route took about 45 minutes to traverse, and then the floats went home, except for Mary and John who stayed up watching for Jesus.  They waited in the church overnight.  The Last Float, the Jesus lying under glass was put in the centre aisle and a local belief is that taking a flower or leaf off it brings good luck for the year.  Also after the crowds disappaited a bit a smaller line up formed, and the glass doors were opened so people could climb up and kiss the feet of the dead Jesus.

We then travelled around town, we had recieved three dinner invitations so we visited and ate a litte at each one.  At the last one the Priest was a guest as well, and we were able to spend a little time chatting.

We headed home, tired and waiting for the next installment.....

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