One of the great gifts of the Catholic Church is that its universality allows the mysteries of the faith to be expressed in endless ways in the beauty of different cultures. We see this perhaps most readily in traditions of visual art, but we also see it in the traditions of devotional prayer and popular (as in “of the people”) piety that have developed in particular parts of the world. The season of Lent and Holy Week has given rise to numerous beautiful practices: think of how many different ways one can pray the Stations of the Cross, for example. This practice encompasses a broad range of possibilities—from meditating as a community on Christ’s Passion in a parish church with Scripture, poetry, and music, to staging a full re-enactment of Jesus’ journey to Calvary in a performance of “Living Stations of the Cross” with actors, costumes, and props.
In this series, Rafael Lopez shares three of his favorite traditions of Lent and Holy Week from his native Mexico. Devotional prayer and popular piety figure prominently into the practice of Catholicism, not only for people living in Central and South America, but also for Hispanic Americans living in the United States as well. Catholics of every ethnicity can learn a great deal from these rich traditions of prayer and spirituality, and can perhaps even consider ways to incorporate facets of these practices into their own observances of Lent and Holy Week this year.
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Featured Image: Timothy Neesam via flickr; CC-BY-ND-2.0.