Holy Week in Mexico

Mexico _doctorwho_flickr

Mexico _doctorwho_flickr

Since Mexico is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, the people regard Easter as a very important time of the year. They celebrate Pascua (Easter) and considers it one of the most important religious holiday of the year. Their observances include all the things they do from the Palm Sunday called the Domingo de Ramos in mid April. It only ends on Easter Sunday (Domingo de Gloria).  Holy Thursday is when some communities celebrates this day with a unique tradition, but basically the Holy Week (Semana Santa) is the last week of Lent in Christianity. Thus the silver city of Taxco hosts processions i the night and day. Particularly to highlight is the Holy Thursday, you can see locals carryings their saints ont he shoulders, walking ahead of the hooded members of self-flagellating penitents. Then followed by the Procession of Three Falls at the Plaza Borda. Three Falls refers to their enactment of how Christ stumbled ad fell as he carried the cross on his shoulders.

Blessing of the Palms

A special mass that includes the blessing of palm fronds or crosses by the religious person. It is a large procession that commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, usually before the mass itself. They then burn the blessed palms and reserved the ashes for marking the sign of the cross on foreheads of communicants on Ash Wednesday of the following year.

Vespers of Darkness

Mexico2 _Hugo Cadavez_flickr
Mexico2 _Hugo Cadavez_flickr

This happens ont he Wednesday of the Holy Week, it is called los matines de las tinieblas as it takes place in the late afternoon. Disciples’abandonment of Jesus is recalled, and you can also see a candelabra set with fifteen candles on the altar. They sing each Psalm, thereafter extinguish one candle, leaving only the center candle to be lit. This final candle represents the Lord Jesus. On Good Friday, the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ is remembered. There is a Passion Play. Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross on Viernes Santo is recreated. So you can see a simulated crucifixion with a lot of amateur performers, playing just like the Bibilical story. This also includes the recall of the Altar de Dolores (an Altar of Sorrows) to show the pain and suffering of Mary at the loss of her son. The Holy Saturday that follows is the Solemn Vigil and celebrated during the liturgical year. So you get to see a solemn evening mass.

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