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JUEVES SANTO


The most distinctively Filipino feature of Holy Week is
the singing of the Pasion. On Maundy Thursday, the monotonous chanting
assaults one from all directions, amplified by speaker systems...
 


from barangay chapels where the pabasa started
on Palm Sunday and will go on until Good Friday...
 


from pabasas sponsored by obscure organizations...
 


from make-shift chapels set up right on 
street intersections by neighbors, and where characters
that could easily pass for neighborhood toughies
join in the chanting...
 


and from private homes in fulfillment of a yearly vow.
 


In church, the afternoon Mass of the Last Supper is celebrated.
 


Eagerly awaited is the reenactment by the priest 
of Jesus' washing of His apostles' feet.
 


The priest washes a foot of each "apostle," and then wipes and kisses it.
 


In a variation of the ritual, each "apostle"
is asked to go down to the congregation to wash and kiss
the feet of some, in the spirit of humility and service.
 


At consecration, the church bells are muted, 
not to ring again until the night of Black Saturday.
The wooden clapper with its eerie sound takes over.
 


After the Mass, a ciborium containing the Sacred Host
is taken from the main altar...
 


and transferred in a short procession...
 


to a specially constructed shrine at the parish center
for overnight adoration -- the traditional visita iglesia.
 

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