Tour books only mentioned the ancient traditions in Italy but nothing prepares you for the sheer size of a procession that travels the entire town and which every resident attends.
Both days are filled with symbolic procedures, clothing, colors and very moving music
Membership in the various ‘brotherhoods’ that participate is an honor
Lanterns the Lampioni, illuminate the entire procession.
Shop and street lights are turned off as the procession passes. Many of the balconies had candles.
Many of the items carried in the processions have significant meaning: the crown of thrones, the spear, hammer and nails from the Crucifixion, dice, blood stained whips, sponge, a bag of ‘silver’, wooden crosses and even a rooster.*
The Black Procession – : Arciconfraternita della Morta – begins at the Chiesa dei servi Di Maria –
on Friday evening starting at 8 pm According to http://www.aponteviaggi, women are excluded from walking in this procession on Good Friday. Representing the mourning of the death of Jesus, the band performs funeral marches, the Miserere is sung and Psalm 50 is sung in Gregorian style. The music, chanting and singing was very moving (as a spectator) But the entire pageantry of an entire town expressing their faith left me speechless.
only a few of the above photos (circa 2008) are mine, the balance were purchased from a professional photographer in Sorrento, Italy.