Good Friday Parade

March 29, 2013

The altar boys go first.


Then comes a fallen Jesus.


Brawny young shoulders carry him aloft._MG_1217

Comes a dolorous Mary._MG_1227

Out of church we go._MG_1231

Down a long steep staircase. Balance carefully now._MG_1238

Down. Down. Down.

Into the crowd.

Past my little Alis market and into the night, thick with funeral song.



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42 comments to Good Friday Parade

  • Jann, once again this year you have allowed us to be a part of this important religious holiday. Thank you! The photos lovely. I literally felt like I was part of the crowd. How I miss partaking in these type of activities. It’s been far too long since I’ve witnessed one in person. Perhaps next year…A girl can dream, no? 🙂

    • Jann

      Bella, dream on! You’ll get here. Spain has the same kind of gorgeous festivals, no? xxxxxxx

  • Those eyes say it all Jann. Reliving the sacrifice but so many with huge sacrifices of their own to bear, hopefully not alone….You have such a way of capturing the essence of these things at close range but with such respect and grace. I just love it!!! xx

  • Wow! The passion, in every sense of the word. So moving,”the dolorous Mary”. Thank you for giving me a taste of it.

  • I love the boys in the first photo – the grins on some of their faces when they are supposed to look solemn! Teenage boys are the same all over the world. These are wonderful pictures Jann. I can’t wait to experience Easter in Cianciana. Their Easter procession is all over Youtube – it is quite something to watch.

    • Jann

      Diane–you won’t believe Easter in Sicily till you experience it. It’s so special and moving–even for non-Catholics!

  • I just showed your photos to my ten year old daughter who asked what Easter means in Italy…..beautiful x

  • as usual…this touches my heart in true Italian fashion….
    Buona Pasqua and God’s blessings to all…

  • Liz

    Just got home from an Easter Vigil Mass here in the states. It was a beautiful celebration. But seeing these pictures of the procession so makes me want to spend my next Easter in Ragusa. Happy Easter!!! Alleluia, He is Risen!

    • Jann

      You must experience Easter in Sicily, if you haven’t done so, Liz. Almost every town has its own amazing rituals.

  • Josephine Lissandrello

    My family and I spent Holy Week in Ragusa one year and participated in all the processions. My uncle Giuseppe Schininà was the musical director and he led all the musicians who played in each procession. It was such a wonderful experience for all of us. We especially enjoyed all the traditional,delicious lamb dishes that my aunt baked in her old brick oven. The bier and Christ in your photo that are carried on Good Friday were carved by my great-grandfather, Nunzio Lissandrello. Many of the churches in Ragusa have his works of art. Buona Pasqua.

    • Jann

      Josephine, knowing that your great-grandfather was the artist who carved these makes the Easter celebrations even richer. Thank you for sharing this. Buona Pasqua.

  • Cathy

    I love that Italians in general are so passionate about their religion, and so rich with tradition! Buona Pasqua Jann to you & all your family! xoxoxo

  • vicki carol

    Americans on a whole (not all,I know)lack the emotion of Easter. It is no longer a religious experience, it is a commercial one. The Easter Bunny gets better billing than Jesus. I love getting up at Sunrise and looking to the East. I feel connected to all that is.
    May God Bless You in abundance.

    • Jann

      You are so right, Vicki. Thank you for your wishes and wishing you back the same for you and your sweet mom.

  • **thick with funeral song.*** I hear it…

    Ooo, Jann, the photos are abundantly moving.

    I thank God for the Resurrection.

    This brings me a new joy.

    Love to you, dear.
    what will you do for Easter? Xxx

    • Jann

      Kisses to you on Easter, Kim. We went to an amazing & moving celebration today, then picked asparagus, and then ate and ate. Hope you had a great day. xxxxxxx

  • John Schinina

    Ciao Jann, Buona, Pasqua,
    Thanks so much for your wonderful blog and your beautiful photo’s, without you we would have no updates.

  • lisa

    That is beautiful! America seems so sterile in comparison.

  • Amy

    Buona Pasqua! I love how the Sicilians do it. We never attended an Easter service but we did go to the St. Agata festival in Catania and see the procession. Such a spiritual experience!

  • Sam

    You know, to some of us raised outside of this tradition, there is a certain eeriness to it all. Not eerie in a bad way, mind you, but eerie in a way way that compels one to gawk.

  • Gian Banchero

    A thousand thanks, due to illness I’m not able to make it out to Easter services this year, but thanks to you I’ve now had the joyous experience brought into my home! Yes Charlie, “dry as toast” here in the States. Many times to recapture the richness of the Sicilian experience here in California I resort to the Byzantine Rite of the Church. Grazie e abbracci e buona Pasqua!!

    • Jann

      Gian–I hope you’re feeling better now! Yes, Sicilian rituals are so rich and passionate that even if you are not a believer or religious in the traditional sense, you cannot help but be profoundly moved. Buona Pasqua back to you! (a little belated)

  • Charlie

    wow, those Sicilians do everything with such passion and style. It is as dry as toast here in the US when it comes to Good Friday.

    • Jann

      Charlie, you seem to have captured a lot of people’s thoughts with your comment. The emotion and the passion in Sicily is a very large part of what drew me to the island.

  • Your photos are stunning! Happy Easter

  • Beautiful photos of a tradition-rich ceremony, Jann — thanks for sharing!

  • Wow! Amazing photos Jann! Thank you for bringing back great memories of Easter in beautiful Ragusa Ibla last year.

    • Jann

      Nora, I checked out your great blog about Easter here, just to make sure I went to everything you saw last year. So glad you had a good time.

  • Ah, the pageant and the passion. That lit up glass coffin-like affair is remarkable. Thanks for bringing us along to experience this rich tradition.

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