10 Worthwhile Ways to Spend Holy Week at Home
By Oliver Oliveros
If you’ve decided to spend this year’s Holy Week at home, it shouldn’t be a long week of idleness. There’s a myriad of ways to productively spend this “reflective” season by your lonesome or with the presence of your family. Strive to refresh yourself—your spirituality, too!
Here are 10 practical tips:
- Relax to soothing, spirit-lifting songs
The Holy Week is the best time to reflect on your life, especially on the mistakes you may have made and the relationships you may have strained. What better way to reflect than through soothing, spirit-lifting music. Stream songs online such as Gary Valenciano’s “Take Me Out of the Dark,” Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” Carol Banawa’s “Tanging Yaman,” or perhaps the Libera choir recordings. Music, they say, touches the soul. Take advantage of the healing power of inspiring music.
- Eat more healthy food, especially vegetables
During the Holy Week, Roman Catholics are asked to abstain from consuming meat-based food such as pork, chicken, and beef. Take this time to assess the kind of diet you have become accustomed to. Consider shifting to a more healthy diet, including fish and vegetables, and a lot of water and fruit juices. Rejuvenate not only your soul but also your body!
- Watch uplifting movies
You can binge-watch movies and TV shows, which touch on the very essence of the Holy Week: “re-realizing” the love of God for man. “Les Miserables,” “Ben Hur,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “The Passion of Christ,” and “Son of God,” among other related titles should be worth revisiting. If you’re subscribed to streaming video services, such as Netflix and IFlix, their catalog should include a long list of these uplifting movies and TV series.
- Watch a passion play near home
When was the last time you watched a live passion play or senakulo? Probably it’s high time to check it out. Tanghalang Santa Ana is presenting the 30th-anniversary production of “Martir Sa Golgota,” directed by Lou Veloso, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Little Theatre on April 13. This production will also tour Tarlac (April 15), Plaza Hugo, Santa Ana (April 17), Concert at the Park, Rizal Park (April 19), and the Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City (April 20). Tanghalan Mandaluyong, on the other hand, is showcasing its own “Hesus Nazareno,” directed by Ronnel Coronado, at Makati Sporting Basketball Court (April 15) and San Jose Covered Court, Barangay Hulo, Mandaluyong City (April 19 & 20).
- Learn a new skill
If you find some spare time during the Holy Week, why not spend it wisely by learning a new skill? It wouldn’t hurt to learn a thing or two, would it? If you love taking photos or selfies using your phone or digital camera, it’d be ideal to learn the basics of Adobe Photoshop, for instance. Luckily, Photoshop has easy-to-follow photo-editing tutorials on its YouTube Page. In case you’re a dog lover, you may opt to learn a few tricks to teach your pet at Milo and Friends, which also advocates for responsible pet ownership.
- Create an artwork
The life and times of Jesus Christ have been depicted in countless art images since the 3rd century. Some of the more prominent depictions of Jesus in the visual arts include the bearded image of Jesus at the catacomb of Commodilla near Rome, the Christ Pantocrator mosaic at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and Michelangelo’s Pieta at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. If you’re an artist who is amazed by these great works of art, why not add your own work to this list? It should be fun, at the same time, truly fulfilling.
- Read the Bible
On Holy Week, what better way to get inspired every day than through the word of God as written in the Bible. You can begin on Palm Sunday, April 14 this year, and wind up on Easter Sunday, April 21 this year. Find a silent corner and contemplate on these Bible verses: Palm Sunday: Philippians 2:5-11; Monday: Isaiah 42:1-4; Tuesday: Isaiah 49:1-4; Wednesday: Matthew 26:14-16; Maundy Thursday: John 13:12-16; Good Friday: John 3:16; Black Saturday: Romans 6:3-11, and Easter Sunday: John 20:1-9.
- Pray with the family
Before sharing a simple dinner at home, why don’t you bond as a family through prayer? You can begin by reading the bible verses for the day as stated above or reflect on the 14 “Stations of the Cross.” This solemn prayer, which is a Roman Catholic devotion, commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a fellow man. You may download the “Stations of the Cross” handout HERE.
- Stay away from social media
Needless to say, the Holy Week is the perfect season for a social media detox! Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld.com once said that “social networking is engineered to be as habit-forming as crack cocaine.” Prove to yourself and your social network that you can survive without Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for a week, at least. Technology is there to aid us, not to control us.
- Hold an Easter Sunday family gathering
Christ is Risen! Filipino families love hosting parties, and an Easter Sunday celebration is no exception. Decorate fanciful Easter eggs with the kids. The traditional Easter Egg Hunt game should be a lot of fun for both kids and adults, too.