Dear Ceci, Finn, Gus, Kieran, and Mary –
I can see from Facebook pictures that you had fun on Easter (even Mary, who had a bad cold?). When we Skype, you must tell me all about it.
I already wrote you about Easter @ Auntie Elizabeth’s studio in Cianciana, but I couldn’t fit in everything. Today I’m going to back up and tell you some more about Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus died.
During the morning and afternoon of Good Friday, the townspeople walk in a long procession to a hill, called Monte Calvario, at the edge of town. These photographs are from there (click on each one, and you can read a little more).
On Good Friday night, the men you saw walking down from Monte Calvario return there. They take the statue down from the cross, place it in a glass coffin, and carry it down, through the town, to the main church. It all happens very late at night. That is one reason I didn’t go (but I heard them!).
The other reason I didn’t go is that IT TAKES THE MEN CARRYING THE STATUE 3 HOURS! Here is a video someone else made. You probably don’t want to watch the whole 5 minutes, but a minute will give you an idea of what I heard. The “Lamento” is the very slow song they begin to sing a minute into the video – listen. I think you’ll hear how sad it is.
Can you guess why it takes the men 3 hours? They walk 3 steps forward, and 1 step backwards, the whole way, the whole time carrying the statue.So, Good Friday is very sad, and Holy Saturday, too. Everything just feels empty. And then at Mass on Holy Saturday, as I wrote before, there is great excitement, and the bells ring, celebrating the resurrection.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
At noon, in the main street, everybody in the village goes to watch for 3 statues:
the Risen Christ (San Salvatore)
Mary (Madonna), and St. Michael, S. Michele,
perform the last Easter scene. Three times, the d’Angelo family men carry their family’s angel statue from from S. Salvatore down the street to…
I will see some of you next week, and I already saw Mary this weekend (so big! so loving to talk!), and will see her in a month. I can’t wait!