Spain’s first procession leaves Cartagena in the early hours of the morning of Friday of Sorrows

22_04_06_Spain's first procession leaves Cartagena in the early hours of the morning of Friday of Sorrows
This procession, which starts at four o’clock in the morning, marks the beginning of Holy Week in Cartagena, declared of International Tourist Interest in 2005.

The first procession of Holy Week in Spain departs from Cartagena in the early hours of Friday morning. The Way of the Cross of the Cristo del Socorro will be collected from the streets of the historic centre of the port city at first light on Friday 8th April. This procession, which starts at four o’clock in the morning, marks the beginning of Holy Week in Cartagena, which was declared of International Tourist Interest in 2005.

After two years without taking to the streets, it will be a different kind of Holy Week, still with precautions, but it will mean a return to a normality that was impossible the previous two years. Ten days of passionate parades are back, distinguished by the perfect order of the penitents who march in unison to the beat of the drum and remain static at their stops. Along with this order, the flower and light of the thrones and axes, as well as the music, are characteristic features of this Holy Week.

It also has an important heritage made up of works by José Capúz, Juan González Moreno, Mariano Benlliure, Francisco Salzillo and Federico Coullaut-Valera, among others. Another noteworthy feature is the embroidery on the cloaks and banners or shrouds, some of which date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Junta de Cofradías de la Semana Santa in Cartagena is made up of four penitential brotherhoods: Marrajos, Californios, Resucitado and Socorro, of which the first two procession for several days. The first recorded processions of the Marraja brotherhood took place for the first time in 1663.

The epicentre of Holy Week in Cartagena is the church of Santa María de Gracia. The façade of this 18th century church was never completed and its interior had to be rebuilt after the events that took place in Cartagena during the first days of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

HIGHLIGHTS

One of the most outstanding processions is that of Holy Tuesday, one of the most genuine days of Holy Week in Cartagena. The Marine Infantry and Army pickets accompany the saints along the Calle Mayor.

The most popular and spectacular are the Magna Procesión del Cristo del Prendimiento de los Californios on Holy Wednesday and the Procesión del Santo Entierro de los Marrajos on Good Friday. Order, light, flowers and music make this procession impressive.

The most fervent procession is that of Easter Monday, the first procession of the Marraja Brotherhood. This procession has been called the procession of “the promises”, due to the large number of promises that accompany the procession of the Santísima Virgen de la Piedad. On this night it is the whole town that forms part of the procession as a testimony to the faith and devotion of the people of Cartagena to an image which, especially on this night, represents the same iconography of the Blessed Virgin of Charity.

Also of note are the Encounter in the early hours of Good Friday morning, with the departure of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno de la Pescadería de Santa Lucía and the Lavatorio de Pilatos, a staging of the trial of Jesus, which takes place on Holy Wednesday.

 

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