Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Observe Lent and Donate to Charity

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 9 March 2011 and ends on 23 April 2011, which is the day before Easter.

Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and confession. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism.

According to the catholic church there are only 2 days wherein the faithfuls are asked to do the fasting, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting does not mean you are going to starve yourself but lessening the food that we eat for that day. As the priest says "2 or 2 1/2 meals and no snacks. But must not end there, we have to give at least the amount we have saved to charity.

Easy! isn't it? but do most catholic observe it? Imagine how much funds can be raised just for a day! Oooh la la..., I made a bit of assumptions and computations as follows:

Total population in the Philippines                                                    84,000,000
80 % (Catholics)                                                                                   67,200,000
50%  (Catholics below 16 and above 60years old)                          33,600,000
50%  (poor and those who can't  even afford to skip meals 
            because they hardly have it regularly)                                 16,800,000
50 %  (those who can afford)                                                              16,300,000
50 %  (those who can afford will not observe)                                   8,400,000
Total  estimated number of persons who will observe                     8,400,000

Total  estimated number of persons who will observe                      8,400,000
Cost of 1 meal per person                                            Php  40.00
Cost of 2 snacks per person                                                  20.00    
Total Savings per person                                             Php                            60.00
Total savings for 1 day for 8,400,000 persons        Php              504,000,000  

For 2 days (Ash Wednesday & Good Friday)                             1,008,000,000 

I am sure it can be more than that because the cost of ordinary meal nowadays is more than P 40.00 especially with the 8,400,000 person (which represents only 10% of the total population) and those in the upper bracket could spend from Php 100 to Php 200 a meal or even more.
Note: The figures are not based on facts or any official records. My mind is just working crazy and crazier when i saw the result.

Imagine if we do that twice a month ( 12 months x 2 = 24  - 2 days = 22 days x Php 504,000,000 = Php  11,088,000,000.00), that will mean a savings of Php 12,096,000,000.00.  Enough of this computation...My mind is getting wilder.

Well aside from fasting, what other activities catholics do to manifest and observe the lent or more precisely the Holy week?

In our parish, we do the Station of the Cross every Friday at the start of lent and daily for the entire Holy week.

We also have the "Santa Cruzada" or the "Passion of Christ" where the parishioners are devided into groups and go house to house (members) daily where the passion is being read and sung.  The entire passion is devided into number of days from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. 

In most parishes, the Parish Pastoral Council in coordination with the parish priest organize trips to different parishes or more widely known as " Visita Iglesia".  In the past years we have gone to the churches in the north - the Ilocos Region, then Tarlac & Pampanga.  This year I do not know which way they are planning to go.  Maybe in the Southern part.

Some people or families who can't afford to go with the trip as it really involve some expenses, do it on their own either with families or friends going around nearer churches. Mostly do it on foot -  walking from church to church.

With the Visita Iglesia the people will not only manifest or observe the Holy Week but will bring business to the different religious places they go.

And some call it as Religious tourism.

When planning Visita Iglesia there are so many things to consider: Visiting old Churches, Churches in the same vicinity or location, the Patron Saint, distance, etc...

No comments:

Post a Comment