The Holy Week of Enna is one of the most spectacular and full of pathos events in the world
The whole city is involved, including the council and the clergy, with almost 2500 hooded brothers that parade along the streets of almost all the city. In the 16 churches, seats of the respective brotherhoods, all the items that will be carried in the procession are prepared.
The Holy Week is full of history and symbols related to customs that have been handed down for centuries, even since the period of the Spanish rule. The band accompanies the procession with sad melodies, written by some composers of Enna. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday the brotherhoods’ banners will be closed as a sign of mourning.
During these days the car traffic in the town is limited but there is a shuttle bus service between lower Enna and upper Enna and for travellling within the city.
The lighting is replaced by torches, the silence that follows the procession is stopped only by the notes of the band, thus creating an atmosphere of engaging religiosity.
At 9:00 o’clock the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit leaves its church and goes in procession towards the church of S. Leonardo.
At 10:00 o’clock, from the Santuario of Papardura, the brottherhood of the Holy Passion, impersonating Jesus, the apostles, the Roman soldiers and the Jewish people go to the square in front of the Church of St. Sebastian for the representation of Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Then there is solemn Blessing of the Palms followed by the holy Mass in the church of S. Leonardo Abbate.
At 16:00 o’clock the procession of the College of Rectors of Enna’s brotherhoods comes out from the church of Montesalvo. The College is preceded by a Labarum (banner) representing all the 16 brotherhoods and is carried alternately, according to the order of procession of the variuos brotherhoods.
The rectors, their assistants and the brotherhoods parade with their banners towards the Cathedral for the adoration of the Holy Sacrament, which is exposed in the beautiful silver ostensory dated 1534.
At 17:00 o’clock the brotherhood SS. Maria of the Rosario leaves from the church of S. Giovanni and reaches the Cathedral for the Eucharistic Adoration.
At 18:00 o’clock, from the church of S. Leonardo Abbate, the brotherhood SS. Passione parades towards
the Cathedral along via Passione, piazza Puccini, via Mercato and via Roma carrying by back the statue of the ECCE HOMO. The brother of SS. Crocifisso di Pergusa precede them.
At 19:00 o’clock the brotherhood of SS. Salvatore leaves the church SS. Salvatore and go towards the Cathedral passing through via Salvatore, via Portosalvo, via S. Francesco di Paola, via Roma.
At 19:30 pm the brotherhood of SS Passione comes back to her church with a brief stop in front of the church Maria SS. Addolorata for a brief memorial prayer for the meeting of Christ with his Mother.
At 09:30 the brotherhood of S. Anna moves from the church of S. Cataldo towards the Cathedral for the Eucharistic Adoration, passing through via Roma.
At 11:00 o’clock from the church S. Maria di Gesù di Montesalvo the brotherhood Maria SS della Visitazione passes through via Montesalvo, via Mercato and via Roma and reach the Cathedral for the Adoration.
At 16:00 o’clock from the church Sant’ Agostino the brotherhood of Maria SS delle Grazie, passing through via Candrilli, via Mercato S. Antonio and via Roma, moves to the cathedral.
At 17:00 o’clock from the church of San Tommaso the brotherhood of SS. Sacramento parade along via Roma and arrives to the Cathedral.
At 18:00 o’clock from the church of Santa Maria La Nuova the brotherhood Maria SS La Nuova
passing through via Mulino a Vento, via Donna Nuova, via Capitano Alberto Colajanni and via Roma reaches the Cathedral for her turn of Adoration.
At 16:00 o’clock is the turn of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit, that from the church of the Holy Spirit, parade along the square S. Bartolomeo, via Mercato and Via Roma to reach the Duomo.
At 17:00 o’ clock the Confraternity of the Holy Souls in Purgatory leaves the Church of the Holy Souls, and passing along Via Roma reaches the Cathedral.
At 18:00 o’clock from the Shrine of St. Joseph, St. Joseph confraternity, parade along Via Roma and goes to the Duomo for the Eucharistic Adoration.
At 09:30 the brotherhood Maria SS di Valverde moves from the Santuario Maria SS di Valverde walking Via Valverde until piazza S. Agostino, via Candrilli, via Mercato S. Antonio and via Roma until the Cathedral.
At 10:30 from the church S. Maria del Popolo, the brotherhood of Sacro Cuore di Gesù, walking along via Vittorio Emanuele and via Roma, arrives to the Cathedral.
At 11:30 from the church Maria SS Addolorata, the brotherhood Maria SS Addolorata wearing a white coat with a long train on the ground, walks trhough via Mercato S. Antonio and via Roma and gets to the Cathedral.
At 12:30 from the church San Francesco d’Assisi, the brotherhood Maria SS Immacolata similarly dressed reaches the Cathedral.
At 13:30 Solemm mass of repose and blessing of the brotherhoods, procession along Mazzini square, Via Orphanage, via Bagni and Via Roma and then in the Duomo again, where they all kneeling will receive the Blessing. During this procession the brotherhoods have their visor raised and carry their banners.
At 20:30 in Pergusa, there is the rappresentation of the Passion of Jesus Christ performed by the brotherhood SS. Crocifisso di Pergusa
In the afternoon there is the mass in Coena Domini with the Foot Washing, followed by the exposition of the holy Sacrament in the Cathedral and in each of the churches of the Brotherhoods. These expositions are popularly called sepulchres.
It’s a very old tradition, consistsing in decorating sumptuosely the altars of repose with artistic shrines and urns. The Eucharist in the ostension represents Jesus in His tomb.The tradition suggests to visit them in silence and in groups formed by odd numbers.
On Good Friday the city is full of torches that will be lit at the sunset. This is the only light that will illuminate the procession until its conclusion of the Duomo. Access to the city is allowed up to 14.00, then only by shuttle bus.
At 16:00 o’clock the brotherhood of SS Passione begins her procession accompained by the sound of the band. From the church San Leonardo they move to the Church of the Addolorata, where they are reached by the other brotherhoods according to a specific order. They pay tribute to the Statue of Our Lady of Sorrow and then they continue towards the Cathedral.
The Brotherhood of the Addolorata is the last one in the ranks and so it closes the long procession with the float bearing the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. As she comes out from the church everybody are moved by the intense and suffering expression of her face.
In the meantime the brotherhood of SS Salvatore bring the urn of the Died Christ to the Cathedral parading via Salvatore, via Portosalvo, via Tre Palazzi and via Roma.
Everything is ready for the procession and the brotherhoods are arranged out of the Cathedral.
At 19:00 o’clock the solemn procession starts from the Cathedral, the band leading and playing funeral marches, followed by the brotherhood of the holy passion carrying the Misteri. Then the brotherhoods of SS. Crocifisso of Pergusa, Maria SS of Valverde, SS. Sacramento, Maria SS of the Grazie, San Giuseppe, Maria SS del Rosario, confraternity Maria SS. Della Visitazione, Sacro Cuore, Spirito Santo, Maria SS Immacolata, Anime Sante del Purgatorio, Maria SS la Nuova and SS. Salvatore. Then complete clergy. Under the canopy, the Cross reliquary containing fragments of the cross and the thorns of Christ. The urn of the Dead Christ, the float bearing the Addolorata and another band complete the procession. At the end, the Mayor and other representatives of the Municipality, of the city Police and of the Carabinieri.
The procession parades along Via Roma, via Libertà and viale Diaz reaching the cemetery where the solemn blessing takes place. After a brief stop, the procession goes on passing through via S. Francesco D’Assisi, via Vittorio Emanuele, via Roma, via Mercato S.Antonio and again via Roma until the Cathedral. Here the big procession finishes its ride with the exception of a few representatives of each brotherhood including the Rectors, that will accompany the Dead Christ and the statue of the Addolorata to their churches.
Now the great Good Friday procession is over on but not for Brothers. Once they come back to their churches they are offered wine, cookies and boiled fava beans.
At 22:30 in the Cathedral and in the other churches there is the blessing of the fire, the Easter Candle and the water for the baptisms and for the Easter vigil.
EASTER SUNDAY it is called “a paci” (the peace). From 7,00 o’clock to 12,00 o’clock in all the churches the Masses of the Resurrection are celebrated.
At 18:00 o’clock everything is ready for “La Paci”. The brotherhood with the float bearing the Risen Christ moves from the church of SS. Salvatore along Via Salvatore, Via Portosalvo, Via S. Francesco di Paola, Piazzetta San Paolo and then stops, waiting for the other group. The brotherhood with float bearing the statue of the Madonna, covered by a black veil, comes down from the Sanctuary of San Giuseppe and goes toward the Cathedral. As soon as they see the Risen Christ from a distance, the bells begin to ring festively, the black veil falls and the two floats move quickly reaching toward each other. Then side by side, they come into Cathedral passing through the cheering crowd . They will be on display until next Sunday
DOMENICA IN ALBIS, called “a spartenza” (the separation)
At 18:00 o’clock the brotherhoods of SS salvatore, San Giuseppe and the Holy Spirit, together with the Vicar and the faithful, leave the Duomo and reach the southern side of the Castello di Lombardia for the Solemn Blessing of the Fields.
Later on there will be the ceremony called “a spartenza” (the separation).
In Piazza Mazzini, near the Cathedral, the two statues of the Risen Christ and the Virgin Mary, slowly moving away from each other, will separate and will go back in one’s own church.
Talking about typical food, you can’t miss the famous pasta with fennel, sardines and breadcrumbs, and after the fasting of Good Friday, on Easter Sunday let’s try the “agnello abbuttunatu” (buttoned lamb) backed lamb, stuffed with parmisan and the “stigghiole” (guts, usually of lamb, but also of goat or chicken, seasoned with parsley or onion and other pot herbs, then stuck on a skewer or rolled around a leek, and finally cooked directly on the grill).
On Easter Monday everyone in the country for a nice barbecue and a selection of fried food with fresh herbs and beans as fennel, mazzareddi (wild cabbages) or artichokes cooked in the ashes
Lunch ends with fried ravioli with ricotta filling.