Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sabay Sa Ihip ng Hangin - click to view lyrics

Being active in a choir for liturgical activities for the past 10 years or so, I've found myself imposing my own religious traditions for the two busiest Catholic observances -- Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. I've struggled to complete the Advent novena from Dec 16-24 (Simbang Gabi) almost every year not only because I'd be a singer or instrumentalist for the liturgy but also because I'd be caught up in the whirlwind of excitement of my choirmates who braved the cold December mornings (4:00 AM!!!) and walked or carpooled like schoolchildren from their homes to church -- and back, armed with bibingka and puto bumbong to share with the lazy family members who decided to forego the mass and sleep a bit more.

Holy Week would be the counterpart of Advent's 9-mass ritual during Lent for me. I recall a few years back when we had choir practices from Holy Monday-Wednesday for the Triduum masses headed by the seminarians at our parish's in-house formation center, then participate in various activities in remembrance of Christ's passion and death. These would include Stations of the Cross along the village roads, our family's Pabasa/Pasyon, Visita Iglesia, and looong masses and processsions from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday. All throughout this week, I would avoid using the phone for anything other than coordinating choir schedules, and would deliberately disconnect my cable TV. At the end of the Easter Vigil mass, we'd go to the seminary's backyard and hide plastic eggs in preparation for the kiddie Easter egghunt, then go back home to rest for a few hours before marching again to the village streets and witness the Salubong before Easter dawn, have breakfast, and finally give food and goodies to the children who eagerly and patiently searched the entire seminary field of prize-laden eggs. It seems like I practically wouldn't have slept from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, but it wasn't much of a bother. It was my tradition, my own ritual.

This year's Holy Week, I didn't join any parish activity because I chose to participate in Hangad's own Triduum duties (masses, Stations of the Cross) in Ateneo. I didn't go to the Salubong for the first time in 10 years. And there wasn't any kiddie Easter egghunt because the church apparently had construction ongoing at the seminary's back field (uh-huh, right. at least that's what they said). And because my 24/7 load would be expiring by Black Saturday, I chose to forego my telebabad sacrifice altogether, as well as allowing myself to watch non-Lenten shows on cable TV.

Come to think of it, I wasn't that active either for the Advent/Christmas parish events last 2004.

I realised I had been following and complying with these rituals and failed to remember the reason why I started them in the first place. It came so automatically for me to be there all the time that I wasn't there for the right reasons anymore. It then dawned on me that I no longer found such activities helpful for my own spiritual reflection. And I discovered I was able to ponder on my faith even amidst the nonchalance of daily life.

Yet somehow, there remains a part of me that wishes to find meaning again in those practices I chose to let go of. Maybe I will find it again, not in a whirlwind of excitement as it was in years past, but in the soft whisper of a breeze inviting me to come home.


timoune said...

psssst. hehehe. just droppin' by. linked you to my feedreader. looking forward to your next posts. :)

tea_n_sympathy said...

well, just my luck, i can't login and add you do i add your livejournal link or your blogger link (or both)?

funny, i was just thinking about you about an hour ago. no stir. kinda reminds me of the eerie coincidences we talked about way back in high school -- which brings me to your and my sad canine encounters this week... talaga nga naman ang God pag nagpapakumusta, no?

sana makapag-usap naman tayo uli maliban sa hi-bye sa JesCom. =)


timoune said...


tama yan, i update my livejournal account regularly. i just log-in to my blogspot everytime i leave comments on friends' blogs on blogspot. para may picture. hehehehe.

talaga? katakot. at hanggang ngayon, after, what, 9 years, may connection pa rin pala talaga tayo. i think if we do get together and get the chance to talk, we'll find that we have more things in common than we think. ;) maybe things that happened in the last 9 years would be an interesting first topic. mahabang usapan to. hehe..

tara! chikahan tayo minsan. game ako.

btw, i can't seem to link you to my rss reader. i think you have to change something in your settings to allow that. baka naman pwede mo i-adjust. pretty please. para am updated as soon as you have a new post.


tea_n_sympathy said...

well, i added a syndicate link to the sidebar powered by FeedBurner...let me know if this helps. =)

timoune said...

it did! it did! thanks!!!

o, ang chikahan date ha... soon! :)