Sunday, 1 April 2007

Semana Santa


So, we enter Holy Week once again. It will be a busy week for priests but at least admin and other responsibilities (such as, in my case, the diocesan archives) fade into the background as the focus is firmly on the Sacred Liturgy, hearing confessions, preparing the church, etc.

Of course, in Spain - and most famously in Seville -Holy Week (Semana Santa) is a time for elaborate processions and communal devotion.

Here is a short video showing various floats going through the streets of Seville (including one of Jesus entering Jerusalem). Despite the chaos and screechy music, it's an impressive sight and the crowds obviously see it as more than just a spectacle. Being one of the costaleros (who carry the huge floats) is no joke and is seen as a good Holy Week penance.


The processions are organised by the various hermandades (brotherhoods), in their imposing robes. A fortnight ago, when I was in Valladolid, I passed a shop selling bedclothes, and they had arranged the fabrics in the window to resemble the Nazarenos (members of these confraternities who follow the processions in their pointed hoods, often carrying a cross).


Well, I've decided to 'withdraw' from this blog during the coming week, so that I can concentrate on more important things - so God bless and have a fruitful Semana Santa!
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5 Comments:

Blogger Fr Ray Blake said...

I love the video, I put up some pictures from Seville earlier. Valladolid still send riders to the city gates to command people to attend the "Seven Last Words" sermon on Good Friday. Splendid!

11:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Despite the screechy music'? It WONDERFUL and so authentically Catholic.

9:46 am  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Wonderful but still screechy!

10:04 am  
Blogger Hebdomadary said...

Dear Padre, No need to publish this, but I spoke to Ashley Paver at length today...literally! I'm in San Diego and he's in Cincinatti! He went to the FSSP mission in Indiana for Palm Sunday, about 45 minutes from where he is, and will be having a SHM at Covington Cathedral for Easter (do yourself a favour and look it up on the internet - it's smug as heck!).

As you are Archdiocesan archivist, I'd like to forward to you an article I just wrote on an account of the Divine Liturgy associated with the 1908 Eucharistic Congress. I was mentioning it to the Fr. who runs the "Solomon I have outdone you!" blog (he had some photo's up of other historicall liturgies and didn't know they'd done the Eastern rite in the Cathedral), but I thought that since you're both an Oratorian Fratellino and archivist, that you should see it first, and perhaps hand it on to him. It includes a substantial excerpt from a book by one Hilda Andrews, called "Westminster Retrospect." You may know it, but if not it's got loads of information on R.R. Terry and the musico/liturgical activities of the Cathderal choir. This excerpt also includes a lengthy and pretty hilarious letter from Fr. Adrian Fortescue.

If you want it, would you write to me at my e-mail, jbpolhamus@yahoo.com
and I'll send it to you as an attachment.

I doubt that the Tablet would be interested, but you can frighten them with it if you like. I'd like to know if there are photographs of the Divine Liturgies mentioned. Wouldn't it be splendid if there were recordings, too? A historical CD of the choir would be a great project. I think they were recording as early as 1910.

Anyway, hope to get this to you asap.

Gratias, and Blessed Holy Week.
John Polhamus

3:32 am  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Did they use folded chasubles in the bad old days for Palm Sunday Father?

8:07 pm  

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