The lockdown due to COVID-19 has led to the cancelation of many events— including Holy Week, a long-held tradition in the Philippines.
Still, that’s not to say you can’t celebrate Holy Week in a time of social distancing and staying at home. Here are three ways to make it meaningful, relevant, and personal—wherever you are! (Read: 3 Mobile Apps to Help You Observe a Meaningful Lent)
#1: Attend Holy Week Liturgies Online
Masses (minus the faithful) are still being celebrated even during the quarantine. Catch one live or any time of the day through this link from CBCP News, which posts Masses from parishes all over the country. There’s a certain solemnity in seeing a priest say Mass all by himself.
#2: Pray the Rosary With Loved Ones at Home
Meditating on the life of Jesus and Mary is just one reason why we say the Rosary. The repetitive recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be has a calming effect that can soothe your worries and fears about COVID-19. (Read: 3 Things That Make the Rosary a Great Meditation Tool)
You can also commit to praying the Rosary for a specific person or group of people. Our suggestions: the hardworking health practitioners who risk their own lives to help COVID-19 patients recover; the humble frontliners like the supermarket staff, security guards, food delivery men, and drug store pharmacists who have to walk to work to serve us during the ban on mass transportation; and the people— doctors and patients— who have lost their lives to this highly infectious disease.
#3: Confess Straight to God
Pope Francis recommended it himself in a March 20, 2020 Mass livestreamed from Rome: “It is very clear. If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth. Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon will all your heart,” the Pope said. (Read: Sacrament of Reconciliation: Here’s What You Need to Know)
If you’ve ever done something wrong or bad, you know the great relief that comes after unburdening yourself to God in prayer. Sometimes, listening to yourself as you confess to God (and not necessarily hearing a priest respond) makes you reflect on your words and resolve to do better next time.
“This is the time, the opportune moment,’” said Lolo Kiko. “An act of contrition done well, and our souls will become white like the snow.”