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Holy Week Around the World: The most purple of penitents

Photo of the Day | published on 04/12/17

Guillaume Pinon for NurPhoto

Photo of the Day, April 12, 2017

MALAGA, Spain: Penitents during procession for Holy Wednesday in Malaga Spain. It is the fourth day of Holy week. Seven processions go out and around the city of Malaga.

In almost every city of Spain you are likely to see a procession during Holy Week (Semana Santa) that features hooded or masked penitents. Since the Middle Ages, members of various religious guilds and brotherhoods have processed through the city, sometimes while self-flagellating (whipping themselves with knotted cords) in a public though anonymous display of contrition and penance. Hence their popular name, “The Penitents.”

IV Who walked between the violet and the violet Who walked between The various ranks of varied green Going in white and blue, in Mary’s color, Talking of trivial things In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolor Who moved among the others as they walked, Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary’s color, Sovegna vos Here are the years that walk between, bearing Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing White light folded, sheathing about her, folded. The new years walk, restoring Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem The time. Redeem The unread vision in the higher dream While jeweled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse. The silent sister veiled in white and blue Between the yews, behind the garden god, Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down Redeem the time, redeem the dream The token of the word unheard, unspoken Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew And after this our exile — T.S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”

Photo by Guillaume Pinon for NurPhoto

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