Thursday, May 31, 2007


Imagine yourself welcoming the day when you finally wed your beloved. In the few moments while you await for the ceremony to begin, you reminisce about the days in preparation of this day. You've spent a significant amount of time and sweat planning, re-planning, and amending the new plans and then implementing them for several months before the wedding itself. You spent hours walking through malls, shops, churches, hotels, homes of friends, and others getting this and that, looking for this trinket and then talking to so-and-so. You've spent thousands of pesos for the wedding entourage's dresses and thousands more for music, decorations, flowers and the reception after the church wedding. You tried to make sure that everything's perfect, the best that you could give your beloved in this most special day. All your closest relatives and friends are there to join you and witness you process down the aisle and look to the sanctuary expecting a most glorious ceremony to be officiated by the priest. But instead you have this:

The priest wears a light, white chasuble, which is strangely dubbed as "tunic", and over which is an "outer stole". He wears no alb. His white t-shirt underneath is visible and so is his black pants. He begins in the usual manner and then "good afternoon". He reads from a flimsy pamphlet and acts in the most casual manner.

This isn't fiction. This, unfortunately, is the state of the liturgy in most parishes in the Philippine islands. In fairness, most priests don't act this way because of any malicious intent on their part but because of the overwhelming and widespread culture of mediocrity and laxity in local parish liturgies.

What irks me is that this mediocrity is often prejudicial against most Filipinos who invested so much time, money and energy to create their special day together truly special. I mean, why can't priests appreciate the couples' efforts and then complement their efforts by dressing up for the occasion with their full priestly regalia, worn properly and smartly and celebrating the liturgy with reverence? Instead, often, they reward the couples with ugly vestments, butchered liturgies, and insipid homilies.

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