Trapani prepares for the procession of the Mysteries during Holy Week

With the ritual of the Scinnute started on Friday, February 16, the city of Trapani is preparing for the procession of the Mysteries. The ritual of the Scinnute dates back to around 1600, and despite the passing of centuries, it has maintained a certain charm among the faithful who see their anticipation grow towards the rites of Holy Week culminating in the procession of the Sacred Groups. The Scinnute take place on the six Fridays of Lent in the church of Purgatory. The term Scinnuta comes from “descending” the group. The last three Scinnute are scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, March 18: Madre Pietà dei Massari – Eredi Facchini di Piano San Rocco, Wednesday, March 20: Madre Pietà del Popolo – Ceto dei fruttivendoli and Friday, March 22: Gesù nell’urna – Ceto dei Pastai, Maria Santissima Addolorata – Ceto degli Autisti, Albergatori, Baristi Camerieri, Cuochi, Dolcieri, Tassisti.

One of the truly exciting moments that precede the procession of the Mysteries is definitely the dressing of the sacred groups. It consists of dressing the float with a black velvet bearing the coat of arms of one’s trade, which covers the wooden structure on which it rests. This is the so-called “manta” that has been introduced to set up the Mysteries since 1950. The sculptural groups representing scenes of the Passion of Christ are then adorned with flowers. And here comes the pride of each Ceto to make their Mystery even more splendid. Each group has different compositions, but all equal in beauty and magnificence. It is certainly the act that precedes the actual procession and while this happens, the church of Purgatory, which houses the sacred groups all year round, comes alive with faithful, curious onlookers, tourists who stop to pray, admire or photograph the Mysteries and representatives of the Ceti. In these moments, you can perceive the profound devotion of every Trapanese present.

Among the many events and rituals of Holy Week, which express the tradition and devotion of each community, those that take place in Trapani have a truly unique characteristic. The procession of the Mysteries, the central event of the Trapanese rites, is the longest religious manifestation in Italy, and one of the oldest. As per tradition, the commander of the Carabinieri station in Trapani knocks three times on the door of the church of Anime Sante del Purgatorio, officially starting the imposing procession. And from this church, the sculptural groups representing scenes of the Passion of Christ start to come out, carried on shoulders from the early afternoon of Good Friday until 2 pm on Holy Saturday. The characteristic “annacata” of the bearers of the Mysteries, the “ciaccule” that mark the beginning and end of the “annacata,” and then the music and choir of the Mystery of the people serve as a backdrop.

The music, performed by musical bands according to a precise repertoire including funeral marches and traditional popular songs (known as “laments”), accompanies the slow procession of the floats carried on shoulders by the representatives of local trades. An endless procession during which devout bearers and faithful follow, in religious silence and emotion, the slow pace of the sculptural groups. The event can be traced back to the 17th century and has been repeated unchanged for centuries. In the night, the lights of the floats illuminate the streets of the historic center and illuminate the faces carved in wood of characters expressing suffering and pain.

Settimana Santa, Trapani tra devozione e tradizione si prepara alla processione dei Misteri

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