Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 25, 2005
Knights recreate beloved Filipino Lenten custom
Filipino congregants share their dramatic spiritual traditions
Special to the WCR
The K of C Nazareno Council No. 12904 has once again brought to Edmonton the beloved Filipino Lenten traditions of Pabasa and Salubong, sharing with the rest of the Edmonton community the rich religious and cultural heritage of the Philippines.
The Pabasa, in its second year, was successfully held at La Perle Community Hall, with a steady stream of brother knights, their families and friends taking turns in singing the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Pabasa, which began during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines as a catechism tool, literally means "a reading."
It is a uniquely Philippine tradition, done during Lent, where the faithful gather in homes, tents, and makeshift chapels as people take turns leading them in singing an accounting of the salvation history.
Pasyon - Passion
In this Filipino Lenten tradition, the faithful or the "singers" use a book called Pasyon or Passion. To preserve this Christian tradition and share the faith-deepening impact that this tradition brings, the Nazareno Council organized the first Pabasa in Edmonton in 2004.
This year's Pabasa was an even bigger success with the reading taking place from 7 p.m. on Holy Thursday and continuing without ceasing until 3 p.m. on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, the Nazareno Council again staged the Salubong, a re-enactment of the Mourning Blessed Virgin Mary and the Resurrected Christ before the Simbang Pilipino Easter Mass at St. Theresa's Church.
Young girls playing the role of angels figured prominently in this traditional celebration as they replace the black veil of the grieving mother with a white veil symbolizing the resurrection.
This tradition was introduced by the Nazareno Council four years ago and has become an integral part of its Easter Mass.
The faithful gather in homes, tents, and makeshift chapels as people take turns leading them in singing an accounting of the salvation history.
For Filipino Catholics who grew up with the Salubong, bringing the tradition to Edmonton stirs memories of this colourful tradition and provides them an opportunity to share it with their children and grandchildren.
For non-Filipinos in Edmonton, the Salubong introduces them to a celebration that reminds them of the power and the reality of God's presence in everyday life.
The Easter Mass, concelebrated by Fathers Jojo Cantal and Ed Escober, on March 27 at St. Theresa's Parish, had the biggest attendance yet.
Judging from the support that the Pabasa and Salubong have garnered from the Edmonton community, these Filipino Lenten traditions are here to stay.
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