This year's Seven Churches' Visitation (large images)
#1
As seen on the blog and as I had mentioned in a related thread in the meet-up subforum.

[quote='Wanton Popery!, "This Thursday is feeling really Maundy"']
Last year, I posted an informative article about the traditions of Maundy Thursday along with my first attempt to organize a Visita Iglesia.

We visited the same churches this year, although in a different order. In front of every church, we prayed two Stations of the Cross. I have pictures. But first, a preface to further explain the practice:

[quote]A couple of my friends and I picked up the tradition of the Seven Churches visitation. As you recall, after the Mass of the Lord's Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the priest takes the Blessed Sacrament in procession to a separate altar that's designated as the "Altar of Repose". There, the Sacrament resides until the 3pm Good Friday Liturgy the next day. Communion on Good Friday is distributed from these Hosts since the priest is not allowed to say Mass and consecrate new Hosts on that day.

It's a very popular custom in "uber-Catholic" places like Poland, Italy, Mexico and the Philippines to visit the Altars of Repose at seven different churches and keep Jesus company through the night. The seven churches come from the seven pilgrim churches that the Pope traditionally visited in medieval times (Wikipedia lists Saint John Lateran, Saint Peter, Saint Mary Major, Saint Paul-outside-the-Walls, Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, Holy Cross-in-Jerusalem, and traditionally Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls). They can also represent the seven stops that Jesus made while on the road to Calvary.[/quote]
Now, for the churches:

1.) Our Lady of the Atonement


The Altar of Repose in the Sacred Heart Chapel (click image to enlarge)

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A reliquary with, I believe, first class relics of Sts. Peter and Paul and other Apostles

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2.) San Fernando Cathedral

The high altar is a post-Vatican II square altar in the center of the nave, but the Altar of Repose is in the apse with a giant golden retablo and tabernacle built onto it. There's a crucifix in the center and figures of the four evangelists around it.

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Outside the Cathedral, workers were setting up a platform for the final stage of the annual downtown Passion Play

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3.) St. Joseph's (downtown)

When we arrived there, it was closed (just as it was last year) and I was so disappointed that I forgot to take pictures.


4.) St. Mary's (downtown)

Same as above, although I took some pictures of the bums who like to sleep under the portal and probably woke one or two of them up by doing the Stations.

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#2
very nice - great idea on the tablet PC!


It's a shame St Joseph's & St Mary's were closed - I think they close them earlier in the day due to their locations.

And the guy in the cream coat - I keep seeing him in your pics and I recognize him from somewhere - just can't remember where or his name!

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#3
Oooooooooooooh. Be-dazzled here!
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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#4
So Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, HK.
 
Love seeing the full Paschal Moon, too. Nice touch!!
 
- Lisa
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#5
Great pics, HK. Our 'pilgrimage' lasted around 3 hours, a large part of it on car, but a significant portion of it on foot as well I took a couple of pics, too, but unfortunately it was too dark even for my DSLR to capture. A shame, too, since some of the churches we visited were extremely beautiful. Here are some of the more noteworthy churches we visited.

San Fernando de Dilao, Paco, Manila

The old district of Paco used to be the Japanese ghetto in Manila. A lot of them came over because of the persecutions against the Christians in Japan. However, they faced a lot of tension with the entrenched Chinese community. A revolt would later be started by the Chinese over this burgeoning tension, and this church was a casualty of that.

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The Dome of the church
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The altar. Too bad the details did not come out so well.

Nat'l Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned/Santa Ana Church, Manila

Up until WWII the arrabal of Santa Ana used to be one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Manila, housing a sizable Spanish population. This church is one of the oldest in the Philippines, having been built in 1578. My mother was baptised in this church. (Not my pics, btw)

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The retablo of the church. Come Passion Sunday, however, is is veiled by a gigantic purple cloth, with only the tabernacle left uncovered.

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Close up of the image of NS de los Desamparados. This church was built and is still run by the Franciscans.

San Sebastian Church, Quiapo, Manila

Possibly my fave church in all Manila, the all-steel Gothic church of San Sebastian was built in the latter part of the 19th century. The steel was shipped from Belgium and it is even said that Gustave Eiffel himself had a hand in the construction of the church. Up until the mid-1970s, this church remained closed to the public, except on certain high feast days. The church of San Sebastian is associated with the Augustinian Recollects.

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The facade of the church. Note the image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the center. While certainly a peaceful looking shot, below, it was a different story, as literally thousands of people walked the 2-km distance from the tailend of the San Miguel district (where we visited another church, the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Michael) to San Sebastian. Including us! Not easy when the sidewalks and even the main roads are jam packed with people. When we got to San Sebastian, there must have been hundreds outside its precincts alone. We must have spent a total of 5 mins trying to squeeze into the gates of the church, since so many people were choking it.

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The high altar of the church. Note the peculiar sight of baroque, vestido santos in the Gothic niches of the altar.  But hey, it works!

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An (imho) ominous shot of the crowd gathered at the patio of the church. The photo is quite bad, but take my word for it when I say that it is but a fraction of the truly gigantic crowd that came to this church. As we were leaving, we saw several groups of barefoot pilgrims (numbering 30 to 50 at least) praying the Stations or crawling towards the altar. A wonderful sight.

The only disappointment I had was that the Altars of Repose we visited this year were lackluster. Around 90% of them were placed outside of the church, but what really annoyed me was how hastily constructed some of them looked. The Shrine of St. Michael even had the grave abuse of placing the Host in a monstrance (!!! ...), in addition to locking the doors of the church preventing me from taking a photo of its exquisite retablo. Oh well. Next year we will (hopefully) be in the provinces, where the churches are grander and such abuses are rarer. Overall though, it was a truly wonderful experience.




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#6
My family and I also did Visita Iglesia last Holy Thursday, but none of the churches we visited are as magnificent as these. Thank you for sharing.

Quote:Next year we will (hopefully) be in the provinces, where the churches are grander and such abuses are rarer.

I spent my past 2 Holy Weeks before this one in Mindoro, in the rural town of Pinamalayan. I joined a large group of devotees who did the way of the cross. No such grand churches, only small chapels, but we covered 14 chapels in all, taking jeepney rides, walking along dusty roads, and crossing shallow streams in between. I loved it.
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#7
dakotamidnight Wrote:It's a shame St Joseph's & St Mary's were closed - I think they close them earlier in the day due to their locations.

I'm mad about those two places, since they were also closed when I tried to go to them last year, and it takes a lot of walking from where I park. They're being stricken from my list for every year afterward.

Quote:And the guy in the cream coat - I keep seeing him in your pics and I recognize him from somewhere - just can't remember where or his name!

He's my friend Pablo. I can't imagine where you might have seen him before, though, outside of my pictures.


Gie2me Wrote:I've never heard of this tradition. I'm looking forward to next year more so now then ever before. I've learned alot this Lenten Season and am so Thankful for you and all FE sharing there knowledge of the Traditions of The Church that have been lost and forgotten. Once again, Thank you. Magnificent!

You're welcome!
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#8
Thank you Harlequin! Beautiful pics... and the moon as a great Host in the sky is a wonderful idea, isn't it? Here it was pouring down rain all evening so we couldn't have our procession; but this poem was inspired by thinking of the same image last year. Great minds?... The italics accent the quotes from the Pange Lingua.
 
Holy Thursday
 
The voices cry triumphantly,
"Sing, my tongue, the mystery,
Born to us, and to us given
Of a stainless maid" - to heaven
Soar the words, each glorious phrase
Giving God His worthy praise.
 
And as the Host goes by below,
The full moon like a Host aglow
Amid a host of cloudlets shines
Down on the marching martial lines -
Cassock and surplice, black and white,
Flickering fringe and windblown light,
 
Praising God, who on the night
Of that Supper, in His might,
With His brethren did recline,
Breaking bread and blessing wine,
Making them, by simple word,
Blood and Body of the Lord.
 
Therefore let us venerate
Jesu's Sacrament so great,
Which tonight He gave us all -
Which adoring, down we fall,
Hailing Him with knees all bent,
King, and God, and Sacrament.
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#9
The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
dakotamidnight Wrote:It's a shame St Joseph's & St Mary's were closed - I think they close them earlier in the day due to their locations.

I'm mad about those two places, since they were also closed when I tried to go to them last year, and it takes a lot of walking from where I park. They're being stricken from my list for every year afterward.

Quote:And the guy in the cream coat - I keep seeing him in your pics and I recognize him from somewhere - just can't remember where or his name!

He's my friend Pablo. I can't imagine where you might have seen him before, though, outside of my pictures.

Hmm - perhaps you can replace St Mary's and St Joseph with one of the following:

Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Alphonsus, St. Patrick, St. Peter Prince of the Apostles, or San Francesco De Paola? All beautiful traditional churches and nearby your route.


And as for your friend - I don't know either. The name sounds familiar. Did he by any chance go to UIW for a while?
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#10
The_Harlequin_King Wrote:3.) St. Joseph's (downtown)

When we arrived there, it was closed (just as it was last year) and I was so disappointed that I forgot to take pictures.


I am sorry to hear that.  I used to be a parishioner at St. Joseph's a while back.  St. Joseph's is a very beautiful church.

Unfortunately, there is no Altar of Repose at St. Joseph's.  Christ is processed back to the tabernacle next to the only altar.  They have to close the church early every night because St. Joseph's has had a long history of homeless people stealing items from inside.  Sometimes homeless people go inside the church and try and disrupt Mass!  Very few parishioners belong to the Church (The church is in the middle of the tourist district.  Tourists mainly pack the Church on Sundays...tourism keeps the church alive).  It is difficult to organize an all night vigil because very few people belong to the church.
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