The plaintiff wail of a lone trumpet greets the dawn of Good Friday on Procida. It is followed by the slow, funereal drum beat signaling the start of a sacred procession recalling the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. Starting at Torre Murata, it winds along the narrow streets until it reaches the port of Marina Grande. This holy procession is one which is deeply felt, highly planned and involves the participation of most of the island.
Christ at the well with the Samaritan woman.
At dawn, men and boys, members of the Confraternity of the Turchini, (started by the Jesuits in 1629) assemble near handmade allegorical floats. These have been designed and constructed by various neighborhood groups and are incredible works of art, depicting various mysteries and miracles. The floats are carried by Confraternity members wearing the traditional white robe with azure blue mantle and hood called a “mozetta”. The only sound is the slow, ominous beat of the tympanum which portends the coming sacrifice Jesus will make. The men struggle with the heavy floats yet demonstrate dignity and devotion in carrying out this sacred ritual.
Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. Note all the real fish
The presentation of each miracle is much like a Cecil B. DeMille production. The scale and accuracy of many of these scenes, produced in paper mache’, wood, textiles and plants is only out done by the real food used; evocative of bountiful Renaissance still life paintings. In the parable of the loaves and fishes, real fish, probably caught that morning, are used. In fact all scenes involving food, including the Last Supper are a showcase for the bounty and beauty of the foodstuffs found locally.
The Wedding Feast of Cana where Christ turned water into wine.
The Last Supper.
Lazarus rising from the dead.
Once at the port, a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows follows the procession followed by the “little angels” children under 2 years old dressed in black robes with intricate gold embroidery.
Little angels in black and gold outfits.
The dead Christ or “Cristo Morto” statue was carved by Carmine Lantriceni in 1728.
This is a “not to be missed” event. The procession starts at 7:30 a.m. and runs about 3 hours. Early morning ferries from Napoli will get you there in time to experience this truly unique sacred rite. You might also want to go the day before where the Holy Thursday pageant includes the procession of the 12 apostles and the ceremonial washing of the feet.
Program of Good Friday events on Procida:
Hour 4,00 Call to the people (trumpet)
Hour 6,00 Procession toward the abbey. The procession, including the statue of the dead Christ “Cristo Morto”, is escorted by members of the Confraternity and the public. Prayers will be said at the Chiesa Madre (Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo).
Hour 7,30 Start of the Good Friday procession from Terra Murata;
Hour 12,00 Reentry of the dead Christ statue to the Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo;
Hour 16,00 Visit the “MISTERI” organized by “Ragazzi dei Misteri” and “Isola dei Misteri” at Terra Murata;
Hour 19,30 Leave from Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo, in a procession, saying the XIV Stations of the Cross “Via Crucis” and ending at Chiesa di San Tommaso d’Aquino.
Hour 21,30 Reentry of the dead Christ statue “Cristo Morto” at the Chiesa di San Tommaso d’Aquino;
Hour 22,00 Vigil of the dead Christ