Memories of Easter in Cattolica Eraclea

Memories of Easter in Cattolica Eraclea

For Easter, the houses and squares were filled with young people who had returned home for the holidays.

Holy Week, in Cattolica Eraclea in Sicily was lived with intensity, fasting and abstinence were observed, which intensified from the evening of Holy Thursday, when we went around the churches in procession, with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows and the bells were tied.

The day of Friday began already at seven in the morning with the services of Good Friday in the church, where the passion was read in several voices, interspersed with passages from the "Stabat Mater" as a lament, which appeared more an Attic tragedy than sacred representation and lasted all day.

After the services in the church, the worshipers went in procession, with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows and that of Jesus carrying the cross, up to Calvary, located on a mound. Here the crucifixion was simulated, with another statue of Christ, with pierced hands and feet and the chest wounded by the spear.

It was held on the cross until the first star came out and then was placed in a splendid glass urn with gilded inlays.

It was carried in procession throughout the town by men belonging to brotherhoods, who were distinguished by the colour of the cape, with the face covered by a white hood called "Cappe".

The procession was made up of almost all the villagers, who followed the urn in step, three forward and one back, singing "Asi, pour tears", all evening, until they reached the Mother Church around one in the morning.

Silence reigned throughout Holy Saturday, until midnight, when the bells were rung to announce the Resurrection.

On Easter day, the meeting between the Madonna and the Risen Son took place in the square. In front of the crowd of villagers, the Virgin covered by a black mantle arrived, carried by some people, and in front of her came the statue of San Michele carried by the children. St. Michael paced back and forth three times as they shouted that Jesus had risen.

Only after the third time, the black cloak was dropped and the statue of Christ was brought in front of that of the mother, who bent down to kiss his feet and her side.

The next day, Easter Monday, it was customary to go out for outings.


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