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Good Friday commemorates the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary, a hill resembling a skullcap located very close to Jerusalem. In Italy, small and large processions take place inside or outside churches. Most of them represent the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis): Christ carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours. Almost all Roman Catholic churches have small plaques with reliefs or paintings representing the Stations. In Rome, the Pope, personally or through a representative, carries a cross from St. Peter’s Square to the Colosseum and leads the faithful through the stations.

In Chieti, Abruzzo, the Good Friday Procession has origins that can be traced back to 842.Thirteen local congregations carry different religious symbols such as the Cross, l’Addolorata, il Cristo Morto, l’Angelo Alato, wearing black hooded robes framed by gold, singing Miserere mei, Deus (Latin for "Have mercy on me, O God" by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri), accompanied by an orchestra of violins, clarinets, and flutes. 

In Procida, one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples, men and boys from the “confraternita dei Turchini” build allegorical floats that are incredible works of art, depicting various mysteries and miracles. The floats are carried by men wearing white robes with azure blue mantles and hoods called “mozette, accompanied by the slow beat of the tympanum.

In Sorrento, Campania, there are two main events: the Procession of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Procession of the Crucified Christ. The first takes place at 3:30 AM on Thursday and participants wear hooded white gowns. They follow a Madonna statue that is carried around town as she searches for her son. The second procession occurs at 8 PM on Good Friday and reflects the Madonna's mourning as she finds her son dead. This time participants are dressed in hooded black gowns.

In Trapani, Sicily, the Procession of the Mysteries is a day long event that starts Friday afternoon and ends on Saturday afternoon. Participants carry heavy floats for 24 hours to show their repentance and self-punishment.

There are so many different processions and rituals in Italy on Good Friday that it would take 20 pages to mention them all. The important traditional aspects of this holyday are repentance and fasting (no meats, nor sweets), in preparation for the Resurrection, on Sunday, which brings the renewal, the rebirth, and a ton of delicious foods.


Date 2008
Source Edited version of (cloned object out of background) Image:Michelangelo's Pieta 5450 cropncleaned.jpg)
Author Stanislav Traykov