Lingayen archdiocese wants religiosity back in Santacruzan, Flores de Mayo | Inquirer News

Lingayen archdiocese wants religiosity back in Santacruzan, Flores de Mayo

/ 08:21 PM May 20, 2013

DAGUPAN CITY—While the Catholic Church does not want to spoil the fun in this merry month of fiestas, flowers and the Santacruzan, it reminded organizers of the Flores de Mayo (Mayflower Festival) to remember the religious roots of the event.

Fr. Oliver Mendoza, rector of the Mary Help of Christians Seminary here, said the Santacruzan, a procession on the last day of the Flores de Mayo, should not be turned into beauty pageants or fundraising activities.

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Mendoza said the event is not a fashion show and participants should not be asked to wear revealing clothes.

Instead, the Flores de Mayo should have a prayerful atmosphere, he said.

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Mendoza said the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan has been trying to revive the religiosity of the May events since 2011, when Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a circular on the holding of the Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo.

“We are trying to remove the pageant and fundraising aspects, especially in the Mayflower Festival. But sometimes, parishes still stage the festival to raise funds for church projects,” he said.

The Church, he said, had also received complaints about gays joining the Santacruzan and dressing up like the biblical characters portrayed in the religious event.

“It is really sad that gays dress up like women of old and parade around town during these religious activities,” Mendoza said.

He said the Mayflower Festival is held in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, who possesses the virtues of charity, faith and hope.

“[The Mayflower Festival] is the tradition of offering flowers before the image of [the Virgin Mary], praying the rosary and holding a procession in her honor. The Santacruzan, on the other hand, commemorates the finding of [Jesus Christ’s] cross by Reyna Elena (St. Helene), the mother of Emperor Constantine,” he said.

“But these two events had been integrated in most parishes,” Mendoza said.

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In a circular in May 2011, Villegas said while such popular expressions of piety are encouraged and approved, the rituals associated with this tradition must be reformed and resurrected so the practices would conform to the prayer tradition of the Catholic Church.

Mendoza said Villegas had issued a paraliturgy (prayer service guide) in English and Pangasinan so this could be used to close the Mayflower Festival.

“The focal point of the paraliturgy must be to honor the Virgin Mary and not to exult the Mayflower titleholders,” he said.  Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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