All the Holy Week Processions of Braga
Of all those held in Portugal, Holy Week in Braga is the most imposing and most popular, attracting many tourists to the city. Visitors are essentially looking for the great nocturnal processions which are characterized by the hundreds of extras and harmoniously combine elements of the liturgy and popular religiosity, as well as ancient traditions and innovation.
The Saturday night before Ramos is like a first vigil, of penitential character, preparing the Holy Week, as the following Saturday, the Easter Vigil will be the festive celebration of the triumph of Jesus over death.
This Procession, in which the transportation of the image of Senhor dos Passos starts in the Church of Santa Cruz towards to the Church of the Seminario, covering the Angel Street, Largo de Santiago (people singing the Miserere by the choir) and Largo de S. Paulo (see the interactive map).
22h00 – Via Sacra (Way of the Cross)
Once the withdrawal of the procession, follows the Via Sacra (Way of the Cross), with people singing the “Martírios (Martyrs)” and following, in order, eight “stations” or “calvaries” spread throughout the city, representing the eight steps (Passos), of Christ on his way to Calvary. These have the following identification and location:
Jesus takes up His Cross
Largo de São Paulo
Jesus encounters His Mother
Largo de Santiago
Jesus falls to the ground
Rua de S. Paulo
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Rua D. Paio Mendes
The way to Calvary
Casa do Igo (Campo das Carvalheiras)
Jesus comforts the women of Jerusalem
Arco da Porta Nova
The Second fall
Largo do Paço
Jesus is nailed to the Cross
Casa dos Coimbras
– Organizada pela Irmandade de Santa Cruz –
Palm Sunday is the entrance porch to the Holy week. On this day the Church commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, to consummate his paschal mystery. Is an entry that prefigures and a prelude to the entry, the glorious resurrection, into the heavenly Jerusalem. But Jesus, however, wanted to reach to triumph through the Passion and Death. So we read in the Palm Sunday Mass, the gospel of the Passion. The faithful are invited to look to Jesus, who »suffered for us, leaving us the example that we should follow his steps« (1 Pt. 2, 21).
The day starts with the Blessing and Procession of Palms.
In this church, the Archbishop proceeds to the solemn blessing of palms. Then parades the Procession of the Palms towards the Cathedral along Rua Dom Gonçalo Pereira. Do you know the meaning?
Five days before His death, Jesus, gentle and humble, mounted on a pony, came down from the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. The people came out to meet him, carpeting the path with their robes and with tree branches. Children and the people applauded with enthusiasm: «Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hossana to the highest!».
The solemn Procession of the Steps offers the spectators, in allegorical paintings and dramatic staging, the same as on Palm Sunday Mass was read in the gospel of the Passion and reminds us that Jesus ‘suffered for us, leaving us the example for us to follow his steps» (1 Pt. 2, 21). They parade the figures who took part in the trial, sentencing and death of Jesus: soldiers, executioners and enemies; but also Cyrenian friends, repentant Magdalenes and religious women. Jesus himself, the ‘The Lord of Steps’, carrying the heavy cross on his back, crossed through the streets of the City, as he once went through the streets of Jerusalem. Integrated in front of the procession, the scripts of the Brotherhoods of the Steps of the Arciprestado (Parishes) of Braga.
The procession stops next to the Church of Santa Cruz, to the Sermon of the Meeting
During the course of this sermon, the audience attends the moving encounter between Jesus and his Mother Dolorosa, the “Lady of Sorrows”.
– Organized by the Brotherhood of Santa Cruz –
Organized since 1998, by the the Parish and the Parish Council of St. Victor, this expressive procession presents the pre-history of the Paschal mystery of Jesus that the church celebrates in the following days. From the call of Abraham, through the era of the Patriarchs, the slavery in Egypt and liberating deed of Moses (the prefiguration of Christ), to the childhood of Jesus, including his escape to the country with Joseph and Mary with the Boy mounted on a donkey, parade, in chronological sequence and in real-life catechesis, prophets, Kings, eminent figures, symbols and biblical frames of the old testament. In essence, this is the Promise of God with his people — »Ye shall be my people« — and heralded the New Alliance that will be sealed with the blood of Christ.
– Organization of the Parish and Parish Council of S. Victor –
Organized since ancient times, this procession evokes the trial of Jesus, while celebrating the mercy He taught. Opens the procession the exotic group of farricocos with coarse penitential robes, barefoot and hooded, ropes around the waists, as once the public penitents, holding staffs and waving suspended torches in the pitch darkness, some lifting fogaréus (bowls with pine cones on fire). Hence also called “Procession of the Fogaréus”. Integrated into the procession, the fogaréus called upon the guards, armed with torches, went at night, to arrest Jesus.
The image of the Lord “Ecce Homo” (or “Lord of the green cane”) represents the Christ which proclaimed to be the King and the Roman Governor made him ridiculous by putting in his hand an image of sceptre (a green cane). That’s how Pilate introduced him to the crowd, saying: — “Behold the Man!”
In addition to many allegorical figures of the Last Supper and the trial of Jesus, since 2004, are incorporated into the procession allegories fourteen works of mercy, as well as historical figures linked to the foundation and history of the Misericórdias especially that of Braga. For some years now also incorporate various Brotherhoods of the Misericórdia from various parts of the country.
– Organization of the brotherhood of Misericórdia
This stately procession of all, the most solemn and touching, carries throughout city streets the coffin of the dead Lord. It is preceded by a platform with a bare cross and followed by the Lady of Sorrows. Accompanied by the various brotherhoods, knights of the Sovereign Orders of Malta and the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, the Cathedral Chapter members, various corporations and authorities. As a sign of mourning, the Delegates and Members of Brotherhoods walk along with covered heads. To show their pain, the allegoric figures wear a mourning veil. The rattles of “farricocos” are silent. The flags and banners with mourning stripe, drag along the floor.
Organized by the Chapter of the Cathedral, Brotherhoods of Misericórdia and of Santa Cruz and the Holy Week Committee.