In both Hinojosa del Duque and in Monterubbio de la Serena I have seen the Easter processions. It is the “folk religion” and attracts more participants and spectators than the “formal” liturgical celebrations.
People take statues in procession around the streets of the town, statues of the Christ in various poses: condemned, scourged, carrying the cross. Also, statues of the Virgin Mother, most often as dolorosa (suffering).
The statue is preceded by “penitentials”, all wearing neck-ankle length gowns, sometimes with large scapulars, with towering pointed masks (looking, as one of my brothers commented, very Klu Klux Klan!). Depending on the size of the local population, these might number a hundred or more.
The procession is accompanied by a brass band, drums beating a solemn, mortuary rhythm, brass instruments playing traditional tunes.
The statue is placed on a highly decorated, carved wooden platform and adorned with flowers. As many as 30 men, hidden out of sight under skirted awnings, carry the heavy platform at shoulder/head height. You can only see their feet. They march to a shuffle, barely moving, slow, rhythmic, a funereal pace. As they march, they sway from side to side. The effect is that the robe of the statue sways with them, so that it really looks as if the figure is actually walking. In Monterubbio, a smaller town, the platform was on wheels, so was wheeled through the town, not quite so dramatic.
At the appointed church, the doors open at the appointed time. The penitentials stream out in two processional lines, carrying candles. When the statue eventually appears, the gathered crowd applaud. The procession continues its slow, funereal way around the town and back or, in larger towns, to another church. As the procession and statue passes, the bystanders stand out of respect.
I have seen processions broadcast on TV also, where they have singers who sing in traditional Mozarabe style. Very dramatic.
Statue of the condemned Christ
Statue of the Dolorosa.
I had seen these women wearing the high, black mantilla (?) in the church. It crossed my mind that if one was sitting behind them it would be impossible to see much over their headwear!
Today is Good Friday. There will be more processions tonight. I feel that I have walked my “way of the cross” in the last few kms of yesterday’s stage, so am quite content to be a bystander. I will attend the liturgical Commemoration of the Passion in the local church at 7.30 pm.