How do celebrities spend their Holy Week? A supermodel, renowned priest, and beauty queen tell My Pope about their unique traditions for the Lenten Season.
Tweetie De Leon Gonzalez
We visit seven churches, as is the practice. We cover one area at a time and choose another for the following year. Since we live in the south, we visited five churches in Alabang and two churches in Makati last year. A few years back, we did the Visita Iglesia in Manila.
On Good Fridays, I make sure to complete the Stations of the Cross. This may require going to the church in the bayan if my family and I are out of town. Otherwise, I do it in our parish church.
Observing Catholic traditions has been a way of life for me, for doing so reinforces my faith and values as a person and as a believer. They are reminders of how to live a life of virtue, gratitude, and meaning.
I am a faithful follower of my religion, a proud Marian devotee at that, and a struggling shepherd who tries to adhere to Catholic teachings as best I can.
On April 13 at 5 am, I’ll lead 300 cyclists on a Bisikleta Iglesia, where we bike to seven churches in Batangas City and pray, reflect, and share in each of them. This is my third year with the event and participation keeps getting bigger.
In my own parish in Quezon City, our live Stations of the Cross will have young people reenacting scenes from the 14 stations around the streets of Barangay Pinyahan. For Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, readings in the dark will be followed by a dramatic Blessing of the Fire: lights will be turned on, church bells will be rung, and the “Gloria” will be sung, ending 40 days of mourning your sins and your forgetfulness of God. On Sunday, our Salubong starts at 4 am with processions of the Mater Dolorosa and the Resurrected Christ converging under a canopy at the church entrance. A child dressed as an angel will recite a poem and a veil will be lifted to reveal the happy face of Mary.
Joyce Burton Titular
Even though I’m no longer Catholic, I continue to observe the Lenten Season. One of the things I love about the church I go to, Union Church of Manila, is the Maundy Thursday Agape Meal where church members gather for a humble meal of bread and soup.
On Good Friday, we always have a presentation of the Last Supper. There was one time when actor Ronaldo Valdez played Jesus then the following year he was Judas. While Jesus is my ultimate hero, Tito Ron made Judas look so cool and just saying that makes me feel like I betrayed the Lord!
My most favorite tradition is the Christian version of the Stations of the Cross at Bonifacio Global City. At one point you get to carry an actual cross and symbolically nail your sins (written on a tiny piece of paper, but I use a big one) to the cross with a hammer.
On Easter Sunday, the church is on party mode, celebrating the risen Christ with much fanfare and joy!