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Another country: Holy Week observed in Spain

by
29 April 2009

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From Della S. F. Marshall

Sir, — How sad I was to read the article by Gillean Craig regarding the lack of any TV coverage in the UK to celebrate Holy Week (Media, 17 April). Here in Spain, we are so blessed. Every town and village commemorates our Lord’s Passion with processions, beginning on Palm Sunday and following through to Easter Day. These are attended by young and old alike.

The massive tronsos bearing statues of Christ and his Mother and decorated in fresh flowers (carried by more than 100 men in many cases) are followed by Christians carrying candles and walking (some of them barefoot and blindfolded) through the streets, where all traffic has been stopped and shops are shut.

Here on the Costa del Sol, the television stations broadcast these processions during the day and into the evening, covering all the sur­-roun­d­­ing areas, and it is really mov­ing to see. Our own Chaplain, Fr David Sutch, was this year honoured to be invited to Seville by a member of the local fraternity to take part in their processions, such is the spirit of ecumenism.

On the Saturday of Holy Week, the congregation of St Andrew’s Chaplaincy took the opportunity of visiting the village of Rio Gordo, just north-east of Malaga, to see the Passion enacted by some 450 villagers, incuding the children from babes in arms up­wards. This is performed on a natural hillside in the village, and no one can help but be moved as the story unfolds.

Perhaps some of your readers would consider coming to Spain for an early holiday to coincide with Holy Week next year, to see for themselves how we here are able to join in with our Spanish brothers and sisters in giving thanks for the sacrifice made once for all by our Lord.

DELLA S. F. MARSHALL
Avenida de Torreblanca No. 2
Portal 2, Edificio Trebol 5F
Fuengirola 29640

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