Saturday, April 3, 2010


Christ has risen! ¡Resucitó!

Holy Week in Suchitoto involves all the beautiful and profound liturgies of the triduum, but also celebrations that are deeply Latino. The processions fill the streets almost every day - so far there has been the Palm Sunday procession; on Holy Monday, there was a Procession of Souls; on Holy Thursday, the moving Procession in Silence, where the only sound is the noise of chains dragging over the cobblestone streets; on Good Friday, the Via Crucis and the later Procession to the Tomb; today (Holy Saturday), the Procession of Solitude, accompanying Our Lady in the silence between burial and resurrection; and very, very early tomorrow morning (2 AM) the Procession of the Resurrection. For each procession, images appropriate to the day (Jesus imprisoned/Jesus crucified/Jesus entombed/Mary/John) are carried through the streets, with two rows of men walking behind the image and two rows of women walking on the outside - though the neatness of this gets a bit messed up as the group moves along.

The Good Friday Procession to the Tomb, here and in most cities in Central America, makes its way over beautiful alfombras (carpets) that here are made out of sawdust and colored salt. Like the mandalas of Tibetan monks, their beauty exists only for the moment, until the procession passes over.

The photos here show one of the alfombras, titled Las Puertas - the gates - and the beautiful image of La Virgen de la Soledad held against the night sky. As Suchitoto waits quietly for the beginning of the Pascal Vigil, the light is coming into the world. ¡Resucitó!

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