Spain

"Live Holy Week with all your senses", exhort the pregoneros

While in 2020 most of the Easter Week pregones in Spain were suspended, this year they have taken on new life, also through the networks, despite the pandemic and the perimeter closures.

Rafael Miner-March 31, 2021-Reading time: 4 minutes
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Photo: Policraticus / Cathopic

The confinement in which the Spaniards lived Easter last year, in the middle of a first wave of contagions and deaths in maximum, has given way this year, with the beginning of the vaccination, to resume the Easter processions, although the processions or the living passions have been suspended due to the sanitary measures of prudence. 

Among the formulas chosen in 2021 are the traditional one of the lecturer or town crier in a temple, usually the cathedral, such as that of Cardinal Carlos Amigo in Madrid, or that of the historian and university professor of Art History, María Antonia Fernández del Hoyo, in Valladolid; the one pronounced through the networks, as was the case of the journalist Cristina del Olmo in the diocese of Barbastro-Monzón, who gave the proclamation from her parish of Santa María la Antigua de Vicálvaro (Madrid); or those of Seville and Cordoba, which took place in theaters. 

In the capital of Seville, an act of homage to the Easter Week proclamation was organized at the Maestranza Theater, with the participation of several of the great pregoneros of the last thirty years, in addition to Julio Cuesta, appointed for last year. And in Cordoba, the great Theater was the scene of a certainly original proclamation, presented by Rafael Fernandez, who was to deliver the one suspended for 2020, and composed of texts selected from the proclamations of various years.

"The creativity of love".

As noted Cristina del Olmopresented by the editor in chief of the magazine EcclesiaSara de la Torre, "this Holy Week which, for the second consecutive year will be celebrated with more or less presence in the churches, according to the restrictions established by the evolution of the pandemic, leads us to put into practice more than ever the 'creativity of love'". 

"It will be a Holy Week without processions", added Del Olmo, "but I am sure that your brotherly heart will go out into the streets and you will continue to bear witness to your faith in the resurrection with your gestures of joy and tenderness towards others", added the journalist, who currently works for the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE).

"I have carried you all this year in my heart with a special emotion. I would like to mention here each and every one of you who have lost a family member, who are going through difficult situations due to lack of work, loneliness or illness. For you especially, the experience of the Passion and Resurrection will have more meaning than ever", he added, concluding this call to evangelization: "Let us be street apostles, able to proclaim the living God, the one who walks with us. Let us be apostles who bring joy to the life of our neighbor".

"Unite with the feelings of Christ."

"Here and now, we will place gratitude in yesterday's celebration and live today's with faith and devotion."with "rules that we have to abide by", because "if we want to be good Christians we will have to be honest citizens", began by pointing out in the Almudena Cathedral the Cardinal Carlos AmigoArchbishop Emeritus of Seville. In his words, he emphasized that Holy Week links with the "Good News of the Passion, Death and Resurrection."and that "a Christian is united to the feelings of Christ and wants to identify with Him".

His practical advice focused on the experience of these holy days. "Holy Week must be experienced with all the senses".meeting with the Lord. "We will see his gestures, his wounded face, we will hear his words, which speak of his submission to the will of God the Father, we will touch his wounds and make his pain our own." he said.

Cardinal Amigo, who is Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy of Spain of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, added that Holy Week is an occasion for "to reconnect with the best of our condition as believers". and stressed that the "battered face" of Christ "does not leave indifferent"but leads to be "witness" in the midst of pain and uncertainty, also in this time of pandemic, with "misunderstandings, stumbles and slips of all kinds."as reported by the Cope radio station and the website of the Archbishopric of Madrid.

"Prepare minds and hearts, feelings and faith to honor and live with the most sincere and profound devotion the Easter of the Risen Lord. And may everything be to the praise of God, of Jesus Christ the Savior and Redeemer, and of his blessed Mother the Virgin Mary.", he concluded.

In his presentation, the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Carlos Osoro, emphasized that Cardinal Amigo, among other things, knows how to "to establish bonds of communion with people".to the point that it is "the bishop in Spain who has done the most for interfaith relations"..

"He gave us the gift of freedom."

Next to the figure of the Ecce Homo of Gregorio Fernández, belonging to the Penitential Brotherhood of the Santa Vera Cruz, the historian María Antonia Fernández in the cathedral of Valladolid: "Holy Week is the remembrance and experience of the one who, with his death, gave us freedom and authentic life. We proclaim aloud love in the face of selfishness, hope in the face of passivity. We proclaim a new world, always becoming, in transformation, where man is the key piece, for being redeemed by Jesus".

"Holy Week has a deep meaning for the cofrades and for all believers much more", in the opinion of the historian, to whom she "It seems absurd to oppose the devotional sense, the religious content of a sculpture, to its artistic interest. The more beautiful a work of art is, the more it will reach the sensibility of those who contemplate it".

"There is much that the history of Art owes to the Catholic religion." noted, as reported by El Norte de Castilla. "The patronage of the Church, also of so many lay believers, has allowed the creation of an immense artistic heritage." added María Antonia Fernández in a ceremony attended by the mayor of the capital city of Valladolid, Oscar Puente, together with the archbishop and cardinal Ricardo Blázquez, and the auxiliary bishop, Luis Argüello, secretary general and spokesman of the EEC.

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