sexta-feira, 22 de abril de 2011

Holy Week in Brazil

Espetáculo da "Paixão de Cristo" em Nova Jerusalém, PE.
Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world. Holy Week - Semana Santa in Portuguese - is observed throughout the country with processions and rituals similar to those of other Catholic countries, yet made unique by the specific context in which they happen.
Some well known Holy Week events in Brazil include:
 «April 22: Hooded penitents take part in the "Torches Procession of Brotherhood" up the stairwells of the church of San Francisco, during Holy Week ceremonies in Goias, Brazil. The penitents, known as Farricocos, represent the soldiers of the Praetorian guard who arrested Jesus Christ. » [Washington Post]



Important Catholic Holy Week Events

  • Procession and Mass on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos)
    Sunday before Easter. They commemorate Christ's arrival in Jerusalem, when palms were spread before Him as He rode into town on a donkey. Traditionally, people carry palms that are then blessed and taken home.

  • Lava-pés (Washing of the Feet)
    As Christ washed His apostles' feet, twelve people from various social classes have their feet washed by priests during a special mass on Holy Thursday.

  • Procissão do Encontro
    Good Friday. Women carrying an image of Nossa Senhora das Dores (Virgin of Sorrows) meet a procession of men carrying Nosso Senhor dos Passos, an image of Christ burdened by His cross.

    • Descent of the Cross
      Good Friday. Procession and Mass.

    • Canto da Verônica (Veronica's Chant)
      A strong tradition in Brazil, it is symbolic of the apochryphal passage according to which Veronica wiped Christ's face on the Via Dolorosa. Often sung during Procissão do Encontro.

    • Paschal Vigil (Vigília Pascal). A service held between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Sunday, with the lighting of a new fire which will, in turn, light the Easter Candle, symbol of Jesus Christ's light unto the world.

    • Festive Easter Sunday Procession and Mass 
     By , Guide

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