The staging of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ that takes place in the small parish of Santa María de Paradela (Meis, Pontevedra) is a pleasant surprise due to the dedication to the staging, the attention given to costumes and the setting where the acts take place. The quality of the actors’ work manages to convey to the public the deep sentiment of the Christian faith. At the initiative of the Cofradía de Semana Santa y Pascua (Brotherhood of the Holy Week and Easter), created in 1993, all the milestones that mark the hours before the death of Jesus Christ and his subsequent resurrection are carefully portrayed. The public participates actively, which makes the scenes even more authentic. Thus, the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey on Palm Sunday, the blessing of the palms and the procession from Campo de Outeiro to the parish church is the first of a series of performances that, alternated with the ceremonial events typical of these dates, are followed by Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Resurrection Sunday. On Thursday night, after the liturgy, the Last Supper, the washing of feet, the arrest of Jesus and his trial before Caiaphas take place. On Friday morning, residents and visitors gather in front of the atrium of the parish church to attend the performance of the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate and Herod and the flagellation, and then participate in a realistic and emotional Stations of the Cross up to Mount Croa, where the crucifixion is represented.
At night, the Descent from the Cross is performed, followed by the procession of the Holy Burial to the parish church.
On Saturday, at midnight, the Resurrection Mass takes place in the parish church, in which fire and water are blessed. At the end, a roscón de Pascua (traditional Easter cake) is handed out free of charge to those attending.
The whole town gathers again on the morning of Easter Sunday in front of the church atrium, where the Resurrection of Jesus is performed with the participation of young children.
The end of the festival comes after mass, with the procession to the Campo de Outeiro, enlivened by a bit of music played by the members of the Brotherhood, the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Virgin of the Assumption, patron saint of the parish, and all the characters that took part in the different performances.
Not to be missed:
The Trial of Jesus, flagellation, Calvary and crucifixion on Mount Zion.