[UPDATED] MANILA, Philippines – It’s usually far-fetched to associate a song by the hip-hop group, Black Eyed Peas, with the traditional Christian observance of Holy Week, which this year happens from April 1 to 8. But not when singing priests, along with other artists, lend religious meaning to songs like this.
Imagine a mash up between Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love” and Jessie J’s “Price Tag” to emphasize a lesson on life’s essentials? Rappler offers this kind of mix of the popular and the spiritual this coming week.
Our weeklong package called Holy Week Online began Palm Sunday, April 1, with a video-and-text combo from TV preacher and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle.
With colorful graphics and background music, his preaching on his program, “The Word Exposed,” eased the faithful into Holy Week.
Rappler then anchors Holy Monday to Holy Saturday on themes that are emphasized by music videos. Performed by the Jesuit Music Ministry, songs like “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns and “Shifting Sand” by Caedmon’s Call provide visitors with springboards for reflection.
Written reflections by Jesuit Provincial Superior Jose Magadia, SJ Jesuit Communications Foundation executive director Fr Emmanuel “Nono” Alfonso, SJ, along with the Daily Om, also provide netizens of various faiths the opportunity to pause and slow down.
Magadia writes that Lent is a period for “cutting down.” He says, “The discipline of Lent is so that we might quiet things down in our hearts a bit, and just maybe, we might be able to hear each other more.” Alfonso on the other hand recognizes the difficulty experienced by many with their faith. Yet, he says, “we know that deep within, despite our struggles, we WANT to believe! We desire and long to believe.”
The Daily Om, which is non-Catholic but which offers reflection points for a deeper spirituality, says that energy is exchanged when money earned is also spent. “You want to use your money to not only take care of your needs, but to help others as well.”
Traditional yet modern
Rappler’s Holy Week Online offers traditional practices with a modern twist.
A hallmark is Rappler’s virtual Visita Iglesia, which allows netizens to take an interactive tour of 14 Philippine churches and do the Stations of the Cross at their own pace. Readings are done by Paterno Esmaquel II.
The virtual Visita Iglesia, which makes use of 360-degree images by panoramic photographer Fung Yu, helps especially those who want to perform this Holy Week ritual but could not due to various reasons, such as migration.
Rappler also taps a center of Filipino Catholic devotion, Quiapo Church, in bringing Holy Week liturgies to the faithful’s computer screens.
Our Holy Week Online will carry Quiapo Church’s livestreams of its Holy Thursday (April 5) liturgy with the Washing of the Feet ritual at 5 pm; its Good Friday service or the 7 Last Words at 12 nn; and its Easter Vigil liturgy at 9 pm. In cooperation with TV Maria, Quiapo Church will also livestream the renewal of vows of Manila priests at the Paco Church early Thursday morning.
The preaching of Manila Archbishop Tagle caps the weeklong observance on Easter Sunday, April 8.
Meanwhile, those who want to share the fruits of prayer, or ask other netizens to pray for them, may do so through Rappler’s chat box on its Holy Week page. Comments will also be welcome.
Join our social news network as we mark the traditional Holy Week in the age of new media. This is Holy Week Online. – Rappler.com