Austerity and simplicity characterized this year’s thematic celebration of the Lent. This is a clear break from the dramatic and pageant-like interpretation of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ of the past.
Last March 28, 2014, Rev. Fr. Noel Azupardo, the recollection speaker, impressed in his talk the new direction of the Diocese where participation of the faithful, rather than just being observers, in the Lenten activities should be the norm. He continued to explain the different activities and rituals in the observance of Lent, from the imposition of the ashes on Ash Wednesday to the blessings of the palms on Palm Sunday to the washing of the feet, the veneration of the Cross and Great Easter Vigil of the Paschal Triduum.
According to Fr. Noel, when we have the ashes imposed on us, we commit ourselves to follow Christ through his suffering, death and eventual resurrection. When we have our palms blessed and enter the church on Palm Sunday, we make a solemn commitment that we shall be with Christ every step of the way. That is the reason why the new emphasis is on participation where we sacrifice with him through the heat of summer as we recall his great love for us.
In closing, he said that the Lenten celebrations must be rooted in the truthful adherence to the liturgical teachings sans drama and pageantry.