The Good Friday procession in Latera is one of the oldest and dates back to the 1600s. One of its characteristics is the ancient folk songs that can be heard during this event and date back to that era.

In fact, among the most intense and engaging moments of the re-enactment is the intonation of the rare chants of the Christus, Stabat Mater and Miserere, of ancient tradition and handed down orally from father to son, which serve as background music for the sad procession that leads Christ to Cross.

The procession is closely linked to the Confraternity of Mercy which has always had an active presence in the organization and carrying out of the religious rite.

In particular, it has always cared for lighting with the use of the characteristic Orvieto flasks in which the wine was once bottled. The flasks are opened on the bottom with some fiery iron that, when  contacted with the glass, cuts it in the desired point.

These original candle holders are then mounted on vertical structures of different sizes that illuminate the path of the procession, creating an impressive backdrop.

The liturgical chants accompanying the procession are performed by the confraternity of the SS. Sacrament and of the Madonna. The songs are the Christus, the Stabat Mater and the Miserere, authentic relics of poly-visual paraliturgical forms of exclusive oral tradition that became in 2010 the “fine sound of the Italian State”.

These songs in Latin have handed down from the 1600s and are now a heritage of the entire territory of Tuscia. The choir of the brotherhoods is made up only of men belonging to the three brotherhoods: the Holy Sacrament, the Madonna and Mercy.

Of these songs there is no written text; musical pentagram and arrangements handed down from father to son. The processional songs are polyvocal forms between the Gregorian and the polyphony and constitute a rare expression of the music of the time.

In this event the numerous characters of the procession cross the medieval alleys of Latera with a marvelous backdrop given by the infinite myriad of multicolored lights of the inverted glass flasks, with a candle inside and pieces of coloured paper adhering to the outside. They are simply put into the hands of people who contribute to increasing the surreality and mysticism of the event.

 

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