Alongside the Trapani Mysteries, much more renowned and followed by tourists and simple devotees, the procession of the Mysteries of Erice has also existed for centuries, which also takes place on Good Friday starting at 2.30 pm with exit from the majestic Church of San Giuliano at the gardens of the Balio.
The procession of the Mysteries of Erice compared to the one in Trapani is smaller not only in the number of statue groups, seven to be precise, but also in the duration, since it ends in the evening at 20.
In recent years, the municipal administration and tour operators have made great efforts to launch an advertising promotion campaign to raise awareness of a procession that deserves to be appreciated, because it is very suggestive, thanks to the complicity of the charm of the medieval village with its streets narrow and silent, with an intimate atmosphere that allows for a greater moment of recollection and prayer.
The statuary groups, as we said, are seven and smaller in size 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 Our Lady of Sorrows wrapped in her long black cloak.
Another different feature with the Trapani procession is the absence of musical bands along the religious procession, because the Mysteries of Erice are accompanied by the prayer of the faithful recited not only in Italian but also in English, French and German. And then there is a difficulty of a technical nature in the sense that the bearers, due to the sloping and stone-paved streets of Erice, make the traditional annacate difficult, so the bearers are forced to place the statuary groups on some forks.
The itinerary, like every year, is quite short and includes the following itinerary: Church of S. Giuliano, via Roma, via S. Francesco, via Vittorio Emanuele, piazza Madrice, via Vito Carvini, via Gervasi, piazza Umberto, via Vittorio Emanuele , via Albertina, piazza S. Martino, via Fontana, via Cordici, via Guarnotta and piazza S. Giuliano.
(Texts Giuseppe Puglia)
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