Tonight I left Margaret Jane (who returned to El Salvador on Tuesday - hurrah!) and Patti sleeping peacefully and walked the three blocks to the parque central where everyone, except Margaret Jane and Patti of course, seemed to be gathered. In the church we finished the hours of adoration of the eucharist and went out into the parque to wait for the procesion del silencio to begin. It took a while, but finally Padre Juan Carlos emerged to lead the procession, followed by a man dragging chains, and then by men carrying the image of Jesus, bound and blindfolded. It took a while, too, for the noisy crowd to quiet down, but by the time we had turned a couple of corners this huge crowd had become completely silent and I could hear the noise of the chains dragging against the cobblestones. We walked - two rows of men in the middle, two rows of women on the outsides - holding candles, silent, walking with Jesus toward prison and torture and condemnation.
My Salvadoran friends and neighbors must connect this long, silent walk with Jesus and their times of walking with family members and friends who were in danger during the Civil War, who might be picked up and questioned and never seen again. Perhaps also with the family and friends who've been threatened, extorted, or killed by gangs.