Every Good Friday of Holy Week, the locals of the town of Lucban in the province of Quezon, Philippines, prepare for the procession around town of the statue of the 'Mahal na Senyor' (The Beloved Christ). This statue, lying in its glass coffin and clothed with a blanket designed with symbolism of the holiness of Christ embroidered in gold thread, is family owned, dating back from 1862. Each year, a clan of the family is appointed responsible (called the 'mayor') for all the needs of preserving the 'Senyor', including housing it for the whole year. The men in white shirts carry the Senyor and pull it using a rope attached to it, parade it around the town, starting from the house of the 'mayor' family to the church, then the streets, and back to the church again. After which the women take the turn to carry it to its new home, the home of the next 'mayor'. It is believed that the tradition of carrying the Senyor around town got its inspiration from the story of the house helper of the family who single-handedly carried the Senyor to the mountains to protect it from the fire during WWII. For decades, the devotees participate in the procession as their way of giving thanks to Christ and plead to bless them and their families again for the whole year. They also believe that they may be blessed by pulling the rope of the Senyor and touching the coffin with their hands or any of their personal items. Here in this photo, the Senyor was inside the church, the men carriers threw their white shirts to their colleagues to wipe the glass coffins with it. Other viewers await the Senyor to its last destination before it is transferred by women to its new home. The procession shows true cooperation among the locals as they listen to the procession leaders in maroon shirts to travel the Senyor safely around the town up to its last destination.
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