Friday, April 14, 2006

Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me, Literally

Since 1946 the Crucifixion has been re-enacted in the Philippines on Good Friday. Men build and carry their own crosses through the streets after scourging themselves. Some pictures can be seen here and here.

Though officially discouraged I imagine it is very moving to witness as well as to undergo.

This year a documentary was being filmed about a tv producer's decision to undergo the crucifixion. This would have made him the second Westerner to do so but he changed his mind after carrying the cross he had made. The whole article is here.

When does zeal become excess and how does culture play into the end result?


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Madeline said...

Well, I don't understand the comment before mine...

Anyway, on to topic; I think it's weird; really weird. There are ways to perform penance without making a spectacle. I can't imagine that this is anything but a turn-off for the non-Catholic. Besides, it can't really compare to the actual passion.

Tradcatholic said...

I agree (with comment 2) but I think it is more of a turn-off to the Catholic as well.I suppose there are some 'called' to perform public penance, but these certainly would shun touristos and candid cameras I would think. Also, to make things more authentic, they should submit their backs to their enemies to scourge for a while in preparation for the 'crucifixion'. There may not be so many repeat crucifixionates the following year.

Thomas Shawn said...

Hip , hip to the Philippines, a real Roman Catholic country to the core. Been there 5 times, have in-laws there and I'll be retiring there some day.

When does zeal become excess and how does culture play into the end result?

I'd say Americans would be poor judges of this question, in general. I'd also say that few Americans have a glimmer of understanding of Filipino culture. I know its still a mystery to me.

I don't blame the tv producer for bailing out. How many people have undergone physical trials like this, even the cross carrying part.

Certainly, beatings, scourgings, a forced march and then crucification are mind boggling physical torments.

That all being said I hope to be in the PI some Easter.