Friday, April 18, 2014

Visita Iglesia on a Good Friday: Sta. Lucia Parish

Wazzup Pilipinas !

Doing Visita Iglesia is fun!

The churches are not crowded, you get to pray in silence, and it seems people are more sincere during the Holy Week. I think its those days that the people you'll meet in churches are those that truly live a life of greatness.

But I saw some teens who were also doing it for the Instagram! Yeah! its also fun posting the pictures online for all your friends to see, but are we being serious with the Visita Iglesia that way?

100 million monthly users love Instagram! It's a free, fun, and simple way to make and share gorgeous photos on your mobile phone.

From their website "It’s a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family.

Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it's as easy as pie. It's photo sharing, reinvented.

Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?"

Yes, its free alright!...and everyone is getting hooked this days. Well, everything is just being posted, from the moment we wake up, our breakfast for the day, our pets greeting us in the morning,   what's on the TV, the outfit we will be wearing this afternoon, our lunch at a famous resto, in everything!

But going back to the church, the fourth one on our list was the Sta. Lucia Parish church. I couldn't really get any information about the church online, and some refers to the church in Sasmuan and not this one in Pasig.

Though its a bit simple from the outside, it has decorative stained glass windows on its main entrance.

As with the other church we visited on a Good Friday, the images of the saints were likewise all covered up in purple cloths. I guess purple is the dominating color used for that purpose. It was only in one church that they used white cloth to veil the images but the rest all used the color purple.

Researching the reason online, I've learned that it has been the custom of the Roman Church, at least in modern times (we mean from the 17th Century forward), to veil the crosses and the images of the saints from the 5th Sunday of Lent until Easter. This has been, and ought to continue to be, one of the defining characteristics of the season of Passiontide – a season which, if after the postconciliar liturgical reforms lost in name, need not be lost in spirit.

Still in many churches throughout the West, crosses and statues are veiled now and will remain veiled for two full weeks. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes this custom as follows: “Before Vespers of Saturday preceding Passion Sunday [i.e. the 5th Sunday of Lent] the crosses, statues, and pictures of our Lord and of the saints on the altar and throughout the church, with the sole exception of the crosses and pictures of the Way of the Cross, are to be covered with a violet veil, not translucent, nor in any way ornamented.

The crosses remain covered until after the solemn denudation of the principal crucifix on Good Friday. The statues and pictures retain their covering, no matter what feast may occur, until the Gloria in Excelsis of Holy Saturday.” However, it is noted that the statue of St. Joseph may remain uncovered, if outside the sanctuary, during the month of March, which is dedicated to his honor.

Similarly with other churches, you'll see some groups of people praying at every station of the cross.

There were only  a few people in the church,  and most of which are praying at the stations of the cross, while a few are quietly praying alone....and maybe none of them asked the reason why the images of Christ and the saints were all covered up with the purple cloths. I believe it represents the idea that we are "fasting" from the beauty and glory of the sacred art, making the church a starker, more somber place.

More facts gathered during my research:

Purple cloth is often used to cover religious artwork in Catholic parishes throughout Holy Week. The veils are usually made of lightweight purple cloth without any decoration. The exceptions are the Stations of the Cross and stained glass windows, which remain uncovered. This is done so that congregants can better concentrate on the message of redemption. The cloth is removed from crucifixes on Good Friday, and the rest of the images are unveiled on Holy Saturday.

Traditionally the color purple symbolizes penance and royal dignity. Not only did Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, come into the world, but on the way to His crucifixion for our salvation the Roman soldiers mockingly dressed Him in a purple robe and crowed Him with thorns (Mark 15:16-20). This is why this color is worn by the priest during the seasons of Lent and Advent.

We were in luck that there was some teens selling some special "puto" and "kutsinta". We were a bit hungry already so we bought one pack, and ate it before going to our next church.

Aside from its taste, the Puto Calasiao is unique because of its petite shape. Puto producers say that Puto Calasiao is shaped as such because they wanted it to be bite-sized, thus making it more convenient for customers to eat.

Its cup shape allows for the prolonged shelf life of the puto as compared to its larger counterparts in other places in the Philippines. The petite shape of the Puto Calasiao makes it lighter, “bouncier” and a bit more fun to eat.

Inside the paper bag was a mixture of "puto" and "kutsinta" wrapped in banana leaves. My wife hails from Pangasinan so she is so fond of having these especially as a "pasalubong" after a visit from her hometown.

The Calasiao puto is one of my favourite rice cakes. It is called Calasiao puto because it originated from Calasiao. It is known as the White Gold of Calasiao because it is the flagship product of the municipality. People value it much like gold because it attracts tourists, who in turn, help with the revenue (and consequently the economy) of Calasiao.

Calasiao is a first class municipality in the province of Pangasinan herein the Philippines. In the Pangasinan language, the town is called "Baley na Calasiao" which means "town of Calasiao".

The Calasiao puto is well known all over the Philippines for its melt-in-the-mouth feeling. It is locally sold along the streets going to Sr. Divino Tesoro.

Calasiao puto is simply made of long grain rice soaked in water, ground and fermented for three days of more, added with just enough sugar to taste and steamed to perfection. It can also be topped with cheese or drizzled with chocolate syrup for some variation. It is also perfect to be paired with dinuguan. Calasiao is known for its 100 years “white gold: “cup-shaped, bite-sized, soft rice cakes; the semi-glutinous rice is fermented in old earthen jars." The town has the traditional white puto and many flavors like pandan (green), ube (violet), banana (yellow), strawberry (pink) and cheese (gold).

The kutsinta is another rice cake variety. It is said that the Calasiao puto is white and that kutsinta is golden, hence the term white gold.

Sta. Lucia Parish

Address: Amang Rodriguez Ave. Manggahan, Pasig City
Date of Erection: 1994
Vicariate: Vicariate of Santo Tomas de Villanueva
Titular: St. Lucy
Feast: December 13

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