Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Week in León: The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross

This is the fifth in a series of posts on Holy Week in León, Spain.  I'll have more information and photographs in subsequent posts.

I attended two of  the three major religious procession on Good Friday.  It's impossible to attend all three unless you cut one short, as the last two take place at the same time.  Yesterday I reported on the Procession of the Pasos. Later in the day came the Procession of The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross. This procession is conducted by the Brotherhood of The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross.  In the days before the procession, I monitored the progress, as volunteers and members of the brotherhood assembled, cleaned, repaired and decorated the pasos (floats).  It is a major endeavor and takes a great deal of planning, coordination, and labor.

Members of the Brotherhood and city officials proclaim the upcoming procession from the balcony of city hall on the Thursday before the event.
(You can click on photographs in this blog for a closer view.)

León's mayor (farthest on the balcony) and other officials speak as members of the Brotherhood, some mounted on horses, and the public gather in the plaza below to hear the proclamation.

Horse-mounted riders lead the procession on Good Friday. 
There is no paso (float) for the first words of Jesus on the cross.  A banner simply proclaims:
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
Gospel of Luke 23:34

The first paso proclaims the second words Jesus spoke:
"Today you will be with me in Paradise."
Gospel of Luke 23:43

Paso of the Third Word


"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son."
Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother."
Gospel of John 19:26-27

The Fourth Word
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34
Detail from The Fourth Word

The Fifth Word
"I thirst."
Gospel of John 19:28

Detail from The Fifth Word.  Flowers are an important element to all of the pasos.

The Sixth Word:
"It is finished."
Gospel of John 19:30

Closer view of The Sixth Word.
Detail from The Sixth Word.
By the time the Paso of the Seventh Word passes San Isidoro it is turning dark.

 The Seventh Word:
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
Gospel of Luke 23:46
I think this very focused post is fitting leading into Easter Sunday.  In six pasos it gives a visual representation of the entire Passion on the Cross. 
If you would like to view the other parts of this series, they can be found here:
Part 1: Preparing for Easter Week (Semana Santa) in León, Spain – An Unexpected Surprise of Tradition, Legos, Family, Pharmaceuticals, Food & Drink
Part 2: Holy Wee k in León -- Family, Tradition & Food
Part 3:  The Holy Week Processions of León -- Faith and Optimism for the Future
Part 4:  Procession of the Pasos: Twenty Photographs to Help You Understand Holy Week in León on This Good Friday
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