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Religious Events in cities and towns during Easter, reliving the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.

During the Dark Ages, the mystery play, a theater form, which originated in the church from a form of object lessons, where clergy an event from the Bible depicted through dialogue and antiphonal. Gradually it developed into a more comprehensive performance. So also created the so-called Passion Play, or just The Passion.

In Umbria, these plays have been performed since the early Middle Ages and they retained the charm. On Good Friday towns and inner cities are illuminated with candles and torches, men and women sing old songs, penitents walk barefoot and carrying the cross, followed by the ancient brotherhoods with all ancient costumes and their standards. In some places also the Passion Play performed alongside the procession from the Last Supper to the crucifixion. A true spectacle to be seen and to join if you can.

The religious celebrations begin on Palm Sunday, when ends the period of Lent and the Holy Week begins. This day the Church celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, cheered by the crowd with palm and olive branches, and in almost all churches than during a week all kinds of rituals are celebrated.

Besides the many celebrations in the churches, there are a number of processions, which are very especially even for non believers.

Assisi – Good Friday – Procession of the Dead Christ

Procession of medieval origin with all Brotherhoods along the torch-lit historic center of the city. The procession starts at 19:30 from the Cathedral of San Rufino with the image of Our Lady of Sorrows to the Basilica of St. Francis and then back to the cathedral, along with the image of the dead Christ

Santa Maria degli Angeli – Good Friday – Procession of the Dead Christ

The procession starts at 20:00 at large basilica with a grand procession of the dead Christ and the Mater Dolorosa with the participation of many confraternities of the city.

Easter procession in Gubbio

Gubbio – Good Friday - Procession of the Dead Christ

It is a symbolic representation of Christ’s Passion, which has been repeated every year for centuries, following a tradition that has never been interrupted. The procession starts with lay brothers dressed in sackcloth and playing instruments called “battistrangole” that produce a rattling noise, and others carrying the objects characteristic of the Passion and the skull that symbolizes Golgotha. Then come the effigies of the Dead Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows, valuable wooden sculptures produced by local craftsmen. Behind the statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary the singers of the Miserere intone their chants, passed down through the centuries by oral tradition. The procession goes through the main streets of the town, starting at nightfall from the Church of Santa Croce. Big bonfires are lit in various places along the route.

Bettona – Good Friday – Procession of the Dead Christ en The Passion

The Passion Play starts after church around 21:30 and the procession is part of The Passon, everyone can participate. The various scenes take place at various locations in the historic center of Bettona with this order: Last Supper, the Olijvenhof Process Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Meeting with Mary and Cyrene, Crucifixion. The audience follows the play through the town and walk with the procession. There are over 70 extras involved. Wonderful to see and being part of.

The Passion in Bettona


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