DIVVS·IVLIVS

Commentarii de religione Divi Iulii vel primordio Christianitatis

Tag: Good Friday

Liberalia and Easter: The breads of the Holy Week

There is a long tradition of bakery products for Easter all over continental Europe—and even beyond, as the popularity of the hot cross bun in the UK and former British colonies like the US and Australia shows. In the more traditional regions, especially those in the Mediterranean area, it is often a form of plain flatbread or wafers that are a prominent part of the tradition. In Spain a whole wafer industry has developed for the Semana Santa, and in rural areas with stronger and older traditions these wafers and especially more traditional flatbreads are sold or handed out to the people attending the ceremonies of the Holy Week, especially on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. (Please note that these products are all distinct from the liturgical communion wafers.) In Greece there is for example a long tradition of women baking the so-called koulouria using outdoor ovens (see image below).

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The death of Christ on Holy Wednesday

Bercianos de Aliste is a small and remote Spanish village near the Portugese border. Due to its century-long isolation the town’s parish has retained a very ancient and unadorned tradition of the Semana Santa, the Spanish Holy Week leading up to Easter. At first sight they seem to be following the standard rituals of the Holy Week: During the night before Holy Thursday a monumento is built for the host. From Wednesday to Good Friday women mourn for the enshrined body and watch over their Lord and Savior. Then the host is shared during the Holy Thursday liturgy. The Good Friday rituals begin in the morning, when the priest symbolizes the deceased Christ by lying on the floor.

BercianosDeAliste_SemanaSanta_1.jpg

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