Holy Week & Easter
For the week leading up to Easter, NPH Mexico celebrates with fun activities and old traditions.
May 1, 2012 - Mexico
At NPH Mexico, we celebrate Holy Week and Easter with many special traditions and events. Our children are on vacation from school during this time, so our high school students are able to join their younger brothers and sisters in our main home to celebrate the week as one big family. One can easily understand why so many of our children say that Holy Week is their favorite time of year.
We started off Holy Week with a Palm Sunday procession. All of our children gathered in the athletic court in the school and were given palms that Father Phil blessed with Holy water. Some of our children were dressed up as Biblical characters and reenacted the Stations of the Cross and the events of Jesus’ crucifixion. All of our children observed and reflected during the procession. It was a powerful way to start holy week and to remember the Passion of Christ.
A group of our children dressed up as Biblical characters for the procession on Palm Sunday.
On Holy Thursday, our high school children arrived at our main home, Casa San Salvador, to attend the evening mass. Father Phil shared the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples and told our children that they should follow His example by practicing love, forgiveness and humility. To help our children better understand this message, Father Phil knelt down and washed the feet of our children, demonstrating the humble act of caring for others. The mass closed with a special ceremony to celebrate the First Holy Communion for over 70 of our children. We are excited for these children to begin their path as Christians and to truly experience the love of God.
During the midday mass on Good Friday, our children commemorated the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ by recounting the final hours of His life. Father Phil invited everyone to experience a strong spiritual connection to the love that Christ has for them and the forgiveness we have through his death. “Try to imagine Jesus Christ hanging there, dying for love of you and forgiving your sins,” he explained. Our children exited mass in silence, kissing and touching the image of Jesus crucified on the cross as they passed. In the night, our children gathered in the chapel garden to watch a movie about Jesus’ life while enjoying popcorn with salsa.
Every year on Holy Saturday the entire country of Mexico engages in a huge water fight as a reminder of our baptism. This year, our children, volunteers and staff ran around the house searching for bottles, buckets, balloons and water guns to join in the battle. The water fight is always a fun experience for our children, who get to spend a couple hours running around the house, soaking everyone in sight. It was especially fun for them to try and splash our National Director, Rafael Bermudez. As the water fight drew to a close everyone was soaking wet and ready to spend some time playing in the pool.
At 6:30 AM Easter morning, our children made their way sleepily to the chapel garden for the special mass at dawn. As we prayed and celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sun slowly rose, bringing in a new day and renewing our spirits. Father Phil explained that Jesus’ resurrection gave us a new life filled with hope, just as NPH has given our children a second chance in life and a bright future ahead. After mass, our children enjoyed hot chocolate, doughnuts and a special chocolate egg from Father Phil. Of course, Easter at NPH Mexico would not be complete without an Easter egg hunt! Our children dispersed throughout our expansive property, excited to find the hundreds of hidden eggs. Any gold, silver or bronze eggs found were worth special prizes!
During this holy time, our children were kept busy with fun activities, special traditions and religious ceremonies that helped them to grow in faith. After Easter vacation, our children are ready to return to school and focus on their studies, as graduation ceremonies are on the horizon.