It’s called Holy Week for a reason. Holy is hagios in Greek and it means “set apart.” And when this time of the year comes around for Filipinos, at least, you shall find Manila a ghost town with all of us taking off for extended holidays. That’s because Holy Week is almost a week long off for the entire nation, except for the hotel and leisure industries.
Being largely a Catholic / Christian country, many are to respect this season with fasts and meditation of what Christ has done to merit us all this paid leave of absence. Now I grew up in a home of Catholic parents and went to a Catholic school, but for as long as I know, Holy Week was a time we used to get together with family and go on grand beach trips, which eventually graduated into out of town parties with friends and a lot of alcohol. It was set apart for me, all right, but obviously, not in any way honoring to God as it was so full of my self.
Thankfully, I matured and realized 10 years ago that this week was not really about my own pleasurable pursuits. It was when I finally realized how my entire life is hinged on the crucial facts that happened to Christ and the world during this week. Since then, I made it a point to use this time to retreat and meditate on what Holy Week means for me today and forever. I let Christ redeem this occasion from selfishness and meaninglessness, to one of profound and sacred importance in my life.
Retreat in a Workbook
Now this does not mean that I don’t take trips anymore. I do understand that culturally, we sometimes have to take advantage of what each season offers. And the truth is that Holy Week does offer a lot of time to retreat and rest. Which is also why we often use it as a time to reconnect with friends and family we don’t really get to see during the working season. We usually do it out of town, as well, because I believe that our spirit and bodies are also craving a change of environment and scenery, a break from the daily toxicity our jobs may bring. And for this reason, I started to entertain these questions in my head, “What if we could compress a spiritual retreat in a book? What if we could bring this retreat with us wherever we went?”
And this is how Anchor of the Soul: A Lent Workbook started. I pitched the idea to a group of creative women and thankfully, they embraced the project right away.
What is it?
Anchor of the Soul offers a four-day devotional and workbook in one, featuring Peter, Mary, John and Mary Magdalene, and how they relate with the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. One ideally begins the workbook on Maundy Thursday and ends on Easter Sunday.
For each day, there are also reflection questions, space for your thoughts, day and evening activities, and a highlighted worship song from a playlist curated beforehand.
Also, each day begins with an art work or frames of elemental scenery which speaks of the kind of emotion these main characters evoke, simply as we read the reality that each had to face when Christ suffered, died and rose again.
Our prayer is that you will join us in meditating and reflecting in this season of commemorating the most important event of our faith. May this material bless you wherever Holy Week finds you, and remind you that the hope of Jesus still reigns until today!
*Workbooks are printed in limited copies, and we are selling for a limited period of time, as well. This is to make sure everyone gets copies in time for the celebration. But we also have pick-up options and a PDF version for those who might want need a little more flexibility! Thank you.
**You may order these links. Please be careful to read important details!
ORDER FORMS and IMPORTANT INFO:
Manila Delivery: https://form.jotform.com/70934787784172
– Deadline for orders: April 8, Saturday
– Deadline for orders: April 7, Friday
Pick Up Option: https://form.jotform.com/70935259956168
– Pick up points: Quezon City (Santolan area) and Makati. Exact addresses will be provided upon confirmation of payment.
– Deadline for orders: April 9, Sunday
– Dates for pick up: April 10, Monday, and April 11, Tuesday
PDF Option: https://form.jotform.us/70934661384159
– Deadline for orders: April 12, Thursday
– Cutoff for payment: 3 PM. Payments made after 3 PM will receive their downloadable the next day, at the latest.
I just want to thank the following people fr working with me on this:
- Chrina Henson and Ronna Bonifacio for writing and strategizing with me.
- Varsha Daswani for tandem-writing the main devotional material with me.
- Darlene Unson for writing intro and extro.
- Anna Cristobal for doing layout and design.
- Sweet Panlilio for painting the four major artworks. (The actual paintings are for sale. Please contact me at [email protected] if interested.)
- Sonjia Kakilala for curating the worship playlist.
- Iya Joson for editing with Ronna.
- Maura Alvero and Bianca Paraiso for creative assistance.