Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Easter Season Has Begun

The Easter season began this past weekend with the Procession of the Lord of the Column from Atotonilco to San Miguel. El Senor resides in the beautiful World Heritage Site Church in Atotonilco but on the fifth Sunday of Lent, he is taken out of the church at midnight, shrouded in scarves and carried in a silent procession for about 10 miles to the San Juan de Dios church in San Miguel de Allende. This procession originated in 1812 when there was a plague in San Miguel and so in hopes of stopping the plague the statute of Jesus Nazareno was carried from Atotonilco to San Miguel. The statue of El Senor de la Columna replaced Jesus Nazareno a few years later.

Here you are seeing the 'better' side of El Senor. His back shows the flogging that Jesus endured. His back is bloody and the ribs are exposed. Mexican Catholic symbolism is much more graphic and bloody than what you may be use to in the American Catholic church.

The procession enters San Miguel at the top of Avenida Independencia where they stop and carefully take off the scarves that have been protecting El Senor though the night. Their arrival is announced with fireworks and the singing of solemn liturgies. The procession is welcomed by the residents who have paved the streets with flowers, fragrant herbs and sawdust "paintings." Overhead there are purple and white balloon arches and palms line the sides of the streets.

Everyone falls in behind the procession that has been walking since midnight and follows them to the San Juan de Dios church where there is a giant outdoor mass. El Senor will reside at the San Juan de Dios church until Easter Wednesday when there is another but smaller procession to take him back to Atotonilco.


Joanna said...

Is your first photo a sawdust painting? It's amazing. We were in Patzcuaro last Easter but didn't see anything like that.

Donna L.M. said...

Hi and thank you for these posts and beautiful pics. I will be retiring to SMA in 18 to 24 months. I know what you say "here comes another one." Well, hopefully this new one will give back more than she takes. Your writing is helpful in adjusting for the upcoming transition. Blessings & light, Donna

Billie said...

Jonna they have these every year and so I always photograph them. They are amazing and yet the procession destroys them in a minute.

Donna, with your attitude I'm sure you will be welcome in SMA.