Posted by: James Shannon | February 15, 2013

Good Friday Mass In The Philippines: The Beauty And Majesty Of San Agustin Church, Manila

DSCN0752San Agustin Church in the Intramuros District of Manila.

I arrived in the Philippines at the start of Holy Week, the climax of the Lenten season in the Catholic Church. Travel experts far and wide strongly advise against visiting the country at this time, as the whole country goes on vacation at this time, clogging transportation and accommodations, and driving prices sky high.

There was a bright side to my fortuitous timing however, as the Philippine’s culutural fabric is on full display at this time, as Filipinos, some of the most fervent Christians in the world, show their faith in visible ways, from praying at mini-shrines, as shown in the previous post on True Manila, to crucifying themselves on crosses, and leading processions through the streets.

Edward and I opted for a slightly less involved way to observe Good Friday, deciding to attend 3 pm mass at San Agustin Church, 440 years old and occupying a prominent place in the history of the country…

DSCN0753Out of all the times to see such a historic church, Easter Weekend is probably the best (though Christmas is certainly an exciting time also!)

DSCN0813Not sure of the significance of these displays … mock coffins?

DSCN0815The reason for the season, JC!

DSCN0821San Agustin is a seriously epic church … as for the service itself, we couldn’t appreciate as deeply as everyone else, as it was entirely in Tagalog…

And with that, I turn the floor over to you, dear reader … ever experience a significant religious holiday overseas?

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