Also for the procession of the Mysteries of Erice there is the go-ahead after a two-year stop due to Covid, so tourists will finally be able to admire the evocative Good Friday procession in the narrow streets of the medieval village of Erice.
Compared to that of Trapani, that of Erice has a relatively recent history: established in 1742, it was originally mixed, because it was made up of wooden statues and living characters until April 18, 1851 when it was only composed of six vare and the simulacrum of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Even if it is less famous than the procession of Trapani, that of the Mysteries of Erice has its own charm and attracts many visitors to the top thanks to the strong promotion campaign carried out by tour operators to make it known, because it is an event with a strong popular sentiment.
And then those who want to experience a more devotional moment, then the setting of Erice fits in well with this feeling, because the streets of the medieval village are quieter and allow the faithful a greater moment of meditation and prayer.
As we said, the vare are 6 and represent the Passion of Christ, or Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Flagellation, the Crowning with Thorns, the Ascent to Calvary, the Crucifix and the Urn; finally, the procession ends with the simulacrum of the Addolorata wrapped in a long black cloak. In ancient times a characteristic of this procession was also the representation of corporal rites, but this practice was definitively prohibited in 1856 by order of the bishop of Trapani, who prohibited such tragic representations.
Other differences with the procession of Trapani are the conclusion in the space of an afternoon; in fact, the return is expected by 8 pm and also the musical accompaniments are absent, since the religious procession unwinds only in silence, accompanied by the prayers of the devotees who carry the various carried on their shoulders.
Another difference from the Trapani rite is the absence of the typical annacate; in fact, when they have to place them on the ground, the porters use special forks, which help the porters to move on the impervious paving.
The itinerary, as every year, is quite short and includes a path that leads them to the historic center of Erice, starting from the church of S. Giuliano, from where they leave and where they return in the evening.
(Texts Giuseppe Puglia)
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