Venerdi Santo ( Good Friday)

It is one of life’s little mysteries as to why Good Friday is not an holiday in Italy. A quick search on Google reveals no reason why a country at the very centre of the Roman Catholic religion should not have it as  a day off. There are loads of processions here in Puglia today all kicking off at about 3p.m. or later. The most famous I guess it the Procession of Mysteries in Taranto at 5p.m. It follows an earlier all night procession. The coffin of Christ is carried through the streets in an incredibly slow moving cortege and I mean slow.  For those interested here it is last years clip

There is nothing like it in the rest of Italy and the only similar one is in Seville Spain.

I was in church in Martina Franca a few days ago attending the remembrance service for the father of a friend. This was my first time at a Catholic Church service and I saw the stations of the cross around the walls which will be much used today . I was somewhat lost as to protocol but luckily my wife Geraldine is Catholic so I was able to follow her lead.  We did have a sermon that I pretty much followed as the priest spoke beautifully clear and wondrously slow Italian. But the sermon wasn’t a scratch on

We were actually married in the Protestant church in Bray Berkshire in 1977 when both Churches were still very strict about not entertaining mixed religion marriages. Now those of you that don’t know the poem about the vicar of Bray it concerned an earlier vicar who switched happily between being a papist and a protestant to match firstly  Henry VIII and his move to Protestantism then Queen Mary and her move back to Catholicism and finally Edward and his return to Protestantism so he went with the flow. Our vicar came from the same ilk. I tried three times to tell him that Geraldine was Catholic and he ignored me. Finally his wife lent over and whispered in my ear ” he doesn’t want to hear that ” !

Now we can’t have a Good Friday without a couple clips from of Life of Brian can we ….

and once on the cross , well you might as well have a bit of a sing song don’t you think

In fact the film almost wasn’t made. EMI got cold feet about it and it was George Harrison that stepped into the breach and mortgaged his offices and his house to raise the £4M that was needed. George said the reason he did it was because he wanted to see the film and Eric Idle described it as the most expensive movie ticket ever.

So we better finish with the greatest super group of all time The Traveling Wilburys George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. Fantastic

Enjoy your Easter.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Expat Italy, Puglia, Puglia Lifestyle, Puglia Living, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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