Black Saturday thoughts

I’ve been singing for our church during Holy Week celebrations for nearly 20 years now, but it was only last April 11, 2020 when I felt like it was my first time – first time to sing in a dark and empty church, except for the presence of the three priests who officiated the celebration, members of the Social Communication Ministry, and very limited attendees.

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Before this pandemic, Black Saturday celebration would usually start where all the lights are closed and only the Paschal candle remained lighted. After four to five readings and psalms, the mass celebrant will start singing “Glory to God in the highest”, to be continued by the choir, which will signal the second part of the celebration. This will prompt all the lights to turn on.

While other readers and psalmists would read and sing in the dark, I will be singing when all the lights are turned on. Suddenly, I felt like the focus and highlight was on me. The pressure was on because the churchgoers would see who the psalmist was so I can’t miss a tune or lyrics.

Unlike if it’s dark, one can hide through the darkness if one missed his/her lyrics or tune. No one will know who that person those in our group.

But that night was different. I sang in the dark and only my voice was heard during the live mass streaming on Facebook. That night, I felt like I honored God and He became the ‘real’ highlight and not me.

Not that I have anything those who post their pictures. It’s just that I felt like for years, I was giving too much emphasis on myself, my voice, and how I looked that day. I need not only to be heard, I need to be seen as well.

It was a heartfelt, very touching and humbling moment for me that I decided not to take any photos of myself. I felt like it’s about time to highlight our Savior Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save us from our sins and rose again after three days.

When medicines and vaccines are not yet available to cure COVID-19, all we can do is rely on God who is our divine healer and protector to get us through this pandemic.

I felt like I focused too much on myself and material things that I don’t even have time for Him anymore. I thought I did, but I realized it was not enough. We also fail to appreciate what really is important to us – our family, relationships, food, shelter, good health, and our faith in God.

As Wendy Widder said in her book, Living Whole Without a Better Half, “The God who parts the waters, raises the dead, feeds the multitudes, and heals the sick is not threatened by anything. He is not baffled about the problems that keep me awake at night, nor is He paralyzed by what scares me. God has the power to eliminate any source of fear from my life.”

There is nothing God cannot do. We only have to trust Him, honor Him, and refuse to be fearful about what will happen. God is faithful and He will take care of us if we trust Him.

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  Prior to that, she's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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