The Holy week
Easter's Traditions in Sardinia
[bRites Of the Holy Week in SCANO MONTIFERRO
See photos: La settimana Santa
The rites of the sacred Week constitute in Scano the central moment and more felt of the whole liturgical year.
They opens with the celebrations of the Sunday of the Palms to continue with the functions of sacred Thursday and Friday and those of the Sunday of Easter. Particularly suggestive the sacred representations: that of Sacred Friday that represents the passion and death of Christ and that of the Sunday of Easter in which the rite develops in “S'Incontru”, or the meeting between risen Christ and his mother.
That representations have very ancient origins but they have maintained intact all of their suggestion up to nowadays, so much to be still the most followed of whole year.
Protagonists of them are the three brotherhoods of the village: the Brotherhood of the Souls, that of the Saint Rosary and that of Saint Cross (also called of Saint Nicolò from the name of the Oratory's patron in which it has center). This last one is the most ancient and it is the one provost to the rites of the Sacred Week. For this motive the oratory of S.Nicolò is, together with the parish of Saint Peter, the fulcrum of that days' events.
The rites have beginning the Sunday that precedes the Easter: in such day the palms are blessed, previously prepared by the “filadores” the weavers (photo left), men that with experienced hand weave the palms for the whole village.
At the end of the blessing, that happens in the aforesaid oratory, everybody approaches in solemn procession up to the parish church, to remember the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem.
The table of oranges is prepared by the prioresses of the three brotherhoods (Arciconfraternita of St. Nicolò, Brotherhood of the Rosary and Brotherhood of the Souls) the sacred Wednesday.
On the plan of a table covered of rosemary, wallflowers and periwinkles (romasinu, fiorettos and proinca) the oranges are prepared so that a cross is formed by the center . On the table a crucifix and two candelabra are also settled.
At the end of the Easter Mass the blessed oranges will be distributed to the brothers together to a candle adorned of fresie and wallflowers (frèsias and fiorettos).
What's the meaning of the use of oranges? Probably this fruit, considered in the Renaissance symbol of abundance, wants to recall the exult of life's rebirth. The oranges, with their color that recalls the light and the sun, are particularly proper to represent Jesus light of the world, that in the Christian symbolism, is represented as the alive sun that makes revive the life on the earth .
In the evening of Sacred Thursday is celebrated the Mass in Coena Domini, memorial of the Eucharist institution. During it the priest repeats the gestures of Jesus that washed the feet to his disciples in the cenacle. The disciples are represented by the priors and vice priors of the three brotherhoods.
The liturgy of Friday it develops in separate places and times: “S'Incravamentu” (the crucifixion) it tightly takes place in the oratory of S.Nicolò in private form; “S'Iscravamentu” (the deposition) is represented in the parish church in public form.
“S'Incravamentu” it is held "handed dams" in the oratory of S.Nicolò in the first afternoon of sacred Thursday. The only prior and vice prior of brotherhood of Saint Cross partecipate. They, accompanied by the prioress and vice prioress that hold up a lighted candle, they withdraw with great devotion the image of Christ from the sepulchre in which is guarded and they bring it in the presbytery of the oratory, where, at the feet of the altar, the cross has been already stretched on and in which the image is fixed with strong nails.
They stops then, with great concentration, in prayer to the sides of the cross. The altar is adorned with “su nènnere”, wheat germinated in the dark symbol of the Christ's burial.
The presbytery, to accent the sacredness of the ceremony, is separate from the rest of the oratory from a great cloth (“Sa Carta”), painted with scenes of the passion.
At the end of the ceremony the doors of the oratory are opened, and the Christ is exposed to the adoration of the brothers and all the believers.
of Sacred Friday there are “Sas chircas”, to which take part all the brotherhoods and the believers. The name in Sardinian makes shine the involvement of the Madonna in the passion of her Child (“Sas chircas” it means in fact "the searches", and it is to point out the symbolic wander of the Virgo searching the suffering child).
The image of "Our Lady of Sorrows" is brought in procession, in a "Via Crucis" that crosses all the village, stopping in the various oratories and finally having its destination in the oratory of S.Nicolò, from which the Christ crucifix is brought out. From here the procession it sets out to the parish where the cross is raised in the side of the presbytery.
Solemn it is on Fridays evening the liturgy called “S'Iscravamentu.” Protagonists of the deposition are “Sos Discipulos”, four characters dressed of ancient customs and representatives the disciples that deposed Jesus from the cross and gave him burial.
The disciples begin their trip from the oratory of St. Nicolò, that guards the ancient suits: after the performance of a prayer (“s'obrigassione”), the disciples accompanied by the brotherhood go to the parish church where the population is already assembled. They stay, together with the three brotherhoods, in the presbytery listening together with the people the homily of the preacher. At one sign of the preacher they finally draw near the cross and proceed to depose the died Christ meticulously following the indications of an ancient ceremonial that is remembered as soon as by the preacher. The Lord's body, after having been shown to the Our Lady of Sorrows and the crowd, is abandoned in “Sa lettèrna”, a stretcher adorned of flowers and candles.
The precession that brings the Christ died in the oratory of St.Nicolò it unties to the dusk among the narrow and tortuous streets of the old Scano, accompanied by the choir of the “Miserere.” anciently looked with a pinch of superstition: from the vivacity of the candles light that adorn “Sa lettèrna” they drew in fact the auspices for the crop.
SUNDAY of EASTER
After the silence of Sacred Saturday arrives the Sunday of Easter: the solemn procession of “S'Incontru” it concludes in a climate of party and exult the intense ceremonies of the Sacred Week, representing the meeting and the regard between risen Jesus and his mother.
Of G.F. Piras (Bibliography: thesis of degree of M. Cappai)
Su Cuncordu 'e su Miserere sings traditional songs for the Holy friday in Scano di Montiferro (OR) From ancient recordings of the 50's
Published : Friday, 18 March 2011 - 11:11
Last update : Wednesday, 4 February 2015 - 18:09
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