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Extreme Good Friday Observance

If you can’t make it to church today, how about a crucifixion?

It’s Good Friday and for a large group of people, a day to recall the death of Jesus Christ.

There are many ways this day is celebrated throughout the world.  Here in El Paso, thousands will climb Christo Rey today and celebrate mass.  Others simply attend church services while others reenact Christs last day on Earth.

The reenactments are kind of cool, but some take them WAY beyond simple recreations.  Devotees in the Philippines reenact every move made by Christ, up to and INCLUDING the crucifixion itself!

Participants carry crucifixes, are beaten, whipped and some are actually nailed to the cross. They are left to hang for several agonizing moments then taken down and carried off to first aid stations.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

One “crucifant”, Alex Laranang … a 58-year-old vendor … was first up this year. He said he does it

“for good luck and for my family to be healthy.”

Ruben Enaje, a 52 year old sign painter, began his yearly rite after surviving a fall from a building.  This year marks his 27th crucifixion!

I’m a religious man, brought up in the Catholic church. (I now consider myself more of a religious “independent” but still and always a christian.)  I’m all for recollection, prayer and remembrance.  I even like the reenactments.

These guys take it a bit farther than I would though.

The Phillippino Catholic church, while dissapproving of these events, has not expressly forbidden them.  Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, stated that the practice is

“not the desire of Jesus Christ.”

What do you guys think?

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