GOOD FRIDAY IN ENNA
In Enna, on Good Friday the procession is made up by fifteen confraternities (brotherhoods). On this day, about two thousand five hundred brethren of all ages file along the streets.
Their attire consists of a white alb, a white girdle, a white hood, a crown of wicker, and a cloak the color of which varies from one confraternity to another.
The oldest confraternity is that of the Most Holy Savior. Its members are granted the privilege to carry on their shoulders the feretory containing the statue of Jesus’s dead body. The color of their cloak is cream with a red cross which seems to evoke that of the Knights Templar. It was established in 1261. It is the oldest in Sicily. It is housed in the church having the same name.
The confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows was founded relatively recently, but its members enjoy the privilege of carrying on their shoulders the litter of Our Lady. Their cloak is violet with a heart pierced by sever swords. The confraternity is housed in the church having the same name.
The confraternity of the Passion of Our Lord was established in 1660. It has the privilege to carry in procession the litter with the statue of Jesus on Palm Sunday. Furthermore, on Good Friday the brethren bear on trays the signs of the Passion of Jesus: the nails, the crown of thorns, the dice, the spear, and even an alive rooster. Their cloak is purple-red with the effigy of Jesus. The confraternity is housed in the church of Saint Leonard.
The other not less important confraternities are: The New Woman; The Holy Ghost; Saint Joseph; Holy Souls in Purgatory; The Holy Sacrament; The Virgin; Madonna of the Rosary; Madonna of Valverde (a quarter of Enna); Our Lady of Grace; Sacred Heart of Jesus; Our Lady of Visitation; The Most Holy Crucifix of Pergusa; Saint Anne.
At five o’ clock in the evening, the Confraternity of the Passion moves from the Church of Saint Leonard and picks up from their churches one by one all the other confraternities. Therefore, it leads the procession. The others follow according to a fixed order.
All the brethren converge to the cathedral and from there they file to the cemetery. The municipal band, the chorus, and the city authorities follow the procession.
Every year, many tourists from all over the world come to Enna to see this event. Apparently, they are mesmerized by the parade. I have seen many of them following the procession hand in hand as if they were townspeople. It seems that they are enraptured with religious fervor.
Actually, a kind of mystic energy transpires from the procession. For what reason? Good Friday is not a mere folk event nor a rite. It is expression of intimate religiosity, innate in the soul of the people of Enna.
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
-The Vibrations of Words
Travels of the Mind