Among the rites of Holy Week in the province of Trapani we would like to note is the Procession of the Living Groups Thursday that evokes the Via Crucis. The Procession of Holy Thursday of Marsala, which, compared to the Procession of the Mysteries of Trapani, which is the best known in Italy and in the world, has a special feature, which is to be the only one, in the province of Trapani, to have maintained the ┤original appearance of the ancient theater; In fact, the groups are composed of living characters, who walk the streets of the city of Marsala and recite in period costume.
The origins of this rite are to be found in the Middle Ages, when it was a habit widespread reciting passages from the Bible in front of churchyards of Churches. These representations by strong popular caricature were often of great artistic, but especially not faithful to the sacred text, so in the second half of the ┤500 the Council of Trent, which was a tough response to the Protestant Reformation of the Church, forbade, among other things, to represent the Passion of Christ with actors who recite, but they were silent and motionless. In other local subsequently the living characters were replaced by statues of wood or paper mache as Trapani and Erice with their processions of the Mysteries, while in Marsala this ritual had to undergo new impulses, and they adapted to the principles of the Council. The procession, as we know it today, took shape in 1755. Today, as then, the Brotherhood of St. Anne is responsible for organizing the event, which runs every year from the church, at around 14.00 or so, and runs through the streets of the center of Marsala, retiring later in the evening in the same church.
The procession is opened by the Brotherhood of St. Anne, followed by six groups, 5 of which are animated, and the last is a simulacrum, representing the Dead Christ.
"Jesus and the Apostles" represents the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the dialogues with the apostles "The capture of Jesus" represents the moment when Jesus is arrested by soldiers of Caiaphas "Jesus before Herod," It is the moment when Jesus is questioned by Herod before his ministers "Jesus before Pilate" represents the moment along with Barabbas is subject to selection by man which of the two should be crucified "Jesus with the cross," It is Christ that falls under the weight of the cross "Dead Christ" It ┤a statue representing the dead Christ on a sheet carried by some girls dressed in black
Closes the procession the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, who is mourning the death of his son. The Way of the Cross of Holy Thursday has an epilogue the next day, which is Good Friday with the procession of the only statue of the dead Christ and the Addolorata, who walk the streets of the city accompanied by the band.