The period of Lent began with Ash Wednesday, which for the Catholic faithful is a liturgical season of penance and conversion; one of its traditional rites, for the Catholics of Trapani, in particular, is that of the scinnute, which constitute the prologue to the celebrations of the Trapani Holy Week.
Waiting to receive the official announcement from the Union itself of the cancellation of the Procession of the Mysteries again this year, the people of Trapani, but also the many tourists who want to connect, will be able to participate in this Lenten rite, which albeit in a different form, continues to be celebrated.
The Scinnute, a Sicilian term that in Italian means "descent", originates from the preparatory rite that in ancient times the city workers performed when the Sacred Groups of the Mysteries were kept in the ancient church of San Michele, now destroyed by the war bombings of 1943, because in on the occasion of the Fridays of Lent, these groups were, in fact, descended from the glass niches, in which they were placed to be positioned at the center of the altar for the adoration of the faithful.
It is a tradition that dates back to the seventeenth century and has remained until today, although the rite over the centuries has been revised and corrected, updating it to our very complicated times in which the physical presence of the faithful is excluded to avoid gatherings.
The Unione Maestranze, in concert with the rector of the Church of the Holy Souls of Purgatory, has published a program that includes a Lenten journey every day starting from Friday 19 February which will have as protagonists all the Groups of the Mysteries until the eve of the Week Santa. At each scinnuta, starting at 7 pm, the statuary group on duty will be placed at the center of the altar of the church and after a musical intervention, there will be a brief historical-artistic description of the group by Professor Lina Novara, who for many years study the history of the Mysteries.
This year there will not be the usual Eucharistic celebration but a simple moment of prayer. Finally, another novelty of this year is that the last Saturdays of Lent will instead be dedicated to the two Madonnas who, given the health emergency, will not come out like the Mysteries in procession.
(Texts Giuseppe Puglia)
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