Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Week

One of the altars without all its decorations
Street leading up to altar
Processions of the different statues began throughout Huejotzingo even before Holy Week.  People sign up 15 to 20 years ahead of time for the chance to host one of the statues in their home.  Hosting a statue involves setting up the scene, feeding everyone who arrives, and providing for the masses held while the statue is in the house.

At the time when the statue will be travelling from one place to another, a car sets out ahead, announcing to the neighborhood that the statue will be passing.  There are also numerous posters throughout the area, showing when different events will be held at each altar.

Stencils used for decorating the street
People turn out to sweep in front of their houses, hang garlands, and paint the streets for the procession.  Vendors also gather around each host house and along the procession route.  Early in the afternoon of each day of Holy Week, music begins to fill the streets, lasting until evening.  Sounds of Ave Maria, Vivaldi´s Spring, opera, and other classical music are the soundtrack of the afternoon.

Jesus´  suffering and death and Mary´s pain are the focus.  On Good Friday, most businesses are closed.  There is one final procession throughout the streets.

Easter Sunday is not noticed much.

On Thursday evening we held a seder meal at our home, inviting the kids who normally attend the Sunday afternoon kids´ club and their parents.  Eleven kids and teens came, and Abraham reviewed the story of the first Passover.  After that we served the seder meal foods one at a time, explaining the significance of each one.  When the meal ended, most of the kids stayed to play for awhile.

The following night, once again in the evening, we had a Good Friday service.  Twelve kids and teens arrived to hear to story of Jesus´ death for our sins and how his death removes the barrier between God and mankind if we accept his sacrifice.

They and their parents are invited to an Easter service at 11 a.m. at our house.  We will have an Easter egg hunt where each egg holds an object from the Easter story.  After reviewing the story, we will have brunch and games.  We plan to have a great celebration.

He is risen!