Sorrento is a beautiful town perched on a cliff high above the sea with views of Vesuvius and the islands in the Bay of Naples . Use this website to help you plan a visit to this elegant southern Italian resort and find your way to the best beaches and some lovely villages and towns along the Sorrentine peninsula that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sombre processions mark Good Friday in Sorrento

Model figures depicting the black procession
on display in a shop window
Two historic processions take place through the streets of Sorrento on Good Friday, which is known as Venerdi Santo in Italy.
A white procession is held in the early hours of the morning and a black procession is held in the evening to mark the sorrow of the church for the passion and death of Jesus.
The white procession represents Mary going out to search for her son. The black procession, in which a 16th century statue of the dead Christ is carried, represents Mary finding her crucified son.
The people taking part wear hoods that completely cover their faces with just eye holes for them to see through, and carry crosses and torches to light their way.
Thousands of onlookers line the route to watch the processions pass by, which are led by bands playing solemn music.
The processions are believed to date back as far as the 13th century when it was recorded that local friars went out on the night before Venerdi Santo dressed in sackcloth and bearing lighted torches to visit tombs in churches.
In the 16th century the procession began to take place on Venerdi Santo and involved the statue of the dead Christ being carried through the streets.
 
The picture shows a shop window on Corso Italia in Sorrento which has a detailed model of the Good Friday processions on display.

 

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