Hubo (Naked) Mass marks the end of the Sinulog Festival in honor of the Santo Nino or the Holy Child Jesus in Cebu City, Philippines. See the pics here.
where the Santo Nino is undressed
in front of the huge crowd
very early in the morning at about 4,
besides removing his crown,
scepter and everything else in his statue.
Then he is dipped in holy water
before being dressed up again
in new vestments or garments.
This holy ritual is accompanied all throughout
by a band playing drums, trumpets,
symbals and tambourines
with a lot of dancers
in a manner of praise and worship.
And prayers are recited from time to time
in the course of the holy ritual.
What does this ritual mean for all Catholic devotees?
The Hubo (Naked) Mass
symbolizes the renewal of faith
and renewal of life of Catholic devotees
by removing the old self of sin,
wickedness and disgrace.
It is like a rebirth,
a reincarnation of oneself from death
caused by sinfulness.
It is a new beginning
to living the life of a true Catholic Christian
in the eyes of the living God Almighty.
Removing the old garments
or vestments of the Santo Nino
is removing our filthy clothes
we have been wearing
ever since we sin from birth
to make room for new and clean ones.
Dipping the Holy Child Jesus in Holy Water
is bathing ourselves in clean water
so that our filthy bodies
become free from dirt and all other impurities.
The band and all the dancers
wholeheartedly express our joyful celebration
in performing the cleansing of our body and soul.
And all the prayers recited
are blessing us in this new journey through life,
guiding us in every road we take
and giving us the courage and strength
to uphold this better change
for as long as we live.
Because we are only humans
who easily give in to temptations
and sin so much all the time
and because it's very hard
to avoid doing wrong,
this holy ritual is done once a year
to make every Catholic know
that there is always hope of renewal for everyone of us
no matter how sinful or wicked we might be
and that we can become better people
if we reflect and embed this holy ritual in our lives.