Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Statue of Christ carrying the cross
The day Christ died is commemorated in our churches by a simple service, usually at 3PM, the hour Jesus died. This includes Scripture readings, including the Passion according to St John, the Universal Prayers, the Adoration of the Cross and Communion service. Stations of the Cross are frequently prayed in the evening. However in countries like Malta, various processions are held in some parishes, with life-size statues depicting the Passion of Christ.
Roman soldiers at the Good Friday procession
Children carrying symbols of the Passion
The photos in this post are from a procession which took place in the town of Rabat, Malta in 2010. They show various Biblical characters, Roman soldiers, children carrying Passion symbols, and the statues, anywhere between 10 and 12 in each procession, although some other parishes have even more, including one parish that has the statue of the Last Supper. Tradition says that the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows comes last, preceded by the entombment of Jesus, represented in an elaborate canopy, with the body of Jesus inside.
Boys Scouts playing a solemn fanfare ahead of Christ Redeemer statue
Marching bands accompany the procession, playing somber funeral marches, and Boys Scout bugle their way in, always starting off every procession with a solemn fanfare. Some men walk in bare feet, as well as with chains tied to their ankles, at times with hoods to protect anonymity. Women also walk in bare feet behind the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, and behind the statue of Jesus falling under the weight of the cross.
Extreme penance on Good Friday
Statue of the Crucifixion of Christ
Statue of the Entombment of Christ