This year, during Holy week, I’ve been homesick for the Philippines. So today, Good Friday, we went out for the traditional Filipino custom of Visita Iglesia, because we couldn’t go yesterday. Traditionally people visit seven churches on Holy Thursday.
During Holy Week when I was a child, we were usually at the beach, the Cresta Ola of my memories or in Baguio.
This winter was long, and the cold still sticks around the edges. The forsythia, magnolia,and daffodils all brave the cold. So did we.
The first stop was Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. James. The church was appropriately somber, the statues draped, the tabernacles agape. Such tradition was comforting.
Beautiful and grave.
The altar of repose, the empty tabernacle all signify the sorrow of Good Friday, and set a reference for Easter Sunday’s glory.
Our Lady of Guadalupe/St James is the parish of the Guatemalan community in New Bedford. We love going to mass here. Today, there was the added treat of seeing the traditional Guatemalan art for Holy Week, the alfombra or carpet. Isn’t this beautiful?
When I saw this, I didn’t feel so homesick anymore, because I realized I carry all my traditions within me. If you want to find out more about alfombras visit this link:
The next stop was New Bedford’s famous church, St. Anthony’s. This is a most spectacularly decorated church with hundreds of angels and saints, stained glass windows, painted vaulted ceilings and seeming acres of varnished pews. We chanced upon the beginning of the Divine Mercy novena, chanted by nuns. While waiting for the prayers to start, I took some photos.
And an angel high up …
And a charming bunch of cherubs..
We made one more stop at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford. There were Good Friday services in Latin. Again, all the statues were shrouded. The chapel was packed.
Under this shroud is a very lovely statue of the Infant of Prague.
I’m glad we went out today. I learned a lot about New Bedford. There is lots of Holy Week going on here even for someone who yearns for flamboyant penitential displays.
A Happy Easter to everyone! I believe.