Holy Thursday

During Holy Thursday, the city moves in procession, transporting the statues of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. John to represent that as soon as they heard that Jesus had been taken prisoner, they went in search of Him in the streets of the old town. Inside , the alters of all the churches are carefully decorated as they represent the Holy Sepulcher. This is an important moment when tradition and popular piety are blended.
The procession begins at 9:00 PM. Bearers of the ‘simulacra’ (effigies) call : “E gridamu Tutti…!” (We all shout). Spectators of the procession respond “Hooray San Giuvannuzzu”.
Along the streets of the old town when the simulacra pass a church, the doors are closed to signify that Jesus is not there.
The search of Madonna Addulurata (Our Lady of Sorrows) and San Giuvannuzzu (St. John) will end in front of the historic Church of U’Rato’ where the effigy of the dead Christ is seen, which has already been on display during the previous week in the center of the church.
The culminating moment following is in deep silence while the band plays “Pianto di Maria” (Mary’s Cry), this moment highlights all connections between Mary and Her son Jesus. Simultaneously, the church door is closed, the simulacra Maria Addulurata and St. Giuvannuzzu “bow” and the band continue to play.
The images of St. Mary and St. John go back to the Church of St. Joseph, where they began the procession, while at the Church of U’Rato the vigil of prayers begin for the dead Christ. The prayers will go on for some time and songs called “Ladati” (Praises) about Christ and His death will be sung in the dialect of the area.