Monday, January 9, 2012

The greatest of Filipino Catholic processions

UPDATE: A lot of wonderful pictures of this year's procession on Yahoo and Daylife.


Every January 9 sees the largest and greatest of Filipino Catholic processions: the day-long sojourn of the venerated statue of the Black NazareneNuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Our Father Jesus the Nazarene) through the streets of the Quiapo district in central Manila. The statue is enshrined in the Minor Basilica of St. John the Baptist ("Quiapo Basilica"), one of the four basilicas located within a very few kilometers of each other in the heart of Manila. (The three other basilicas are Binondo Church, the San Sebastian Church - National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Manila Cathedral.)

Millions join the January 9 procession (the Traslación) -- a large number of them barefoot -- as the statue is brought from Quirino Grandstand facing Manila Bay (whence, for the past several years, it has been brought for a preliminary vigil beginning about 1 P.M. on the day before the procession to give devotees more time to take part in the "Pahalik sa Poong Nazareno" [the kissing of the statue of the Nazarene] as well as more ample space for this devotional practice) and back to Quiapo Church. This year, 8 million people are expected to take part in the traslación. The Traslación commemorates the transfer of the Black Nazarene image from the now-destroyed San Nicolas de Tolentino Church in Intramuros, Manila to Quiapo Church in 1787.

The lyrics of "Lumang Krus", the song accompanying the video:

Lumang Krus

Sa malayong pook, malapit sa bundok
Nariyan ang isang lumang krus
Na pinagpakuan ng Poong Maykapal
Sa sala ng tao’y tumubos.
Kung kaya’t aming iniaalay
Ang lahat sa lumang krus na iyan
Handog ko’y dalangin at dasal
Nang hirap Niya’y maparam.
Krus na iyan ay tigib
Ng dugo at luha
Kay Hesus na Mahal ng madla
Nagtiis ng hirap
Namatay Siya sa krus
Sa sala ng tao’y tumubos

(Repeat Koro)

"Lumang Krus" is actually the Tagalog adaptation of the Baptist hymn "Old Rugged Cross". Despite its Protestant origins this Tagalog adaptation has long been used in Filipino Catholic devotional exercises (although its popularity has declined in recent years).

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