There are lots of superstitions regarding Holy Week especially during Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday).
If we just look at it closely, some of the superstitions were derived from Christian (i.e. Catholic) belief. It was because of lack of theological knowledge or lack of being articulate in explaining the Faith that our ancestors passed it to the next generations without explanations. They just passed it on and eventually became superstition.
One example is that we should not take a bath during Good Friday because God is dead.
At first glance it seems like a superstitious belief. But if we study it closely we will understand the following: We Filipinos love to take a bath everyday. Since Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence, not taking a bath in Good Friday “because God is dead” became a part of the abstinence from the things that are pleasurable to us. It is a part of mortification, of disciplining the body, of sharing the suffering of Christ.
God being “dead” during Good Friday contains truth. It contains the truth that God died in his humanity in the Person of Jesus Our Lord.
Every time our ancestors utter the “death of God” it is already “given” – something which do not need to be uttered but already understood, that they are speaking about Jesus – True God and True Man. No explanations needed, because it was already understood.
This “death of God” during Good Friday was contested by those who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ as well as those who believe that Jesus is God.
Those who do not believe in the Divinity of Jesus do not believe in the “death of God” simply because they do not believe that Jesus is God.
Those who believe in the Divinity of Jesus but laugh at the idea that “God is dead” during Good Friday do so because Jesus does not die yearly.
It is true that God do not die yearly, every Good Friday, it was just like telling us to commemorate the “death of Our Lord”, not just as a memory but as a present reality – here and now. By this we can see the difference between the reverence of our ancestors to the “death of God” because they see it as a present reality, here and now during Good Friday and the irreverence, of the people today because we are taking it lightly during Good Friday thinking that it happened thousand years ago – an event that belongs to the past.
This “death of God” here and now during Good Friday as observed by our ancestors makes them take the sacrifice of Jesus seriously, they do not even take a bath just to commemorate it.
The idea is funny for some because they underestimate the knowledge of past generations. But they have the knowledge that we don’t have and sadly it almost die along with their generation.
May we dig up this knowledge again like a treasure from the treasure chest of our grandparents.