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Semana Santa in Mexico: La Procesión del Silencio

by Daniela Lee on March 29, 2024

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is one of the most significant worldwide events for the Catholic community. In Mexico, several traditions go back centuries, and many Mexican towns have their own traditions and celebrations, from parades to processions to reenactments of the Passion of Christ. Many families observe this holiday by attending church and decorating their homes with religious images.

For those unfamiliar with Semana Santa festivities, Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus' triumphant arrival into Jerusalem, where he was greeted with music and palm branches. This is the origin of the custom of utilizing bouquets to mark the occasion. The Last Supper between Jesus and his apostles is commemorated on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday, scenes from the Via Crucis, also known as the Way of the Cross, are portrayed in many regions of Mexico. The Via Crucis spans from the moment Jesus is sentenced to death until his execution and burial in the tomb. Solemnity and reverence are expected on Glory Saturday, the day between Christ's death and Resurrection. Finally, the Resurrection—the most incredible miracle Christians celebrate—occurs on Easter Sunday.

In many towns, the Passion and Death of Christ are reenacted following the general narrative that includes Jesus, the twelve apostles, Roman centurions, Jews, and Pharisees. In addition, some towns include Mary Magdalene, Pilate, and the Virgin Mary. 

I recently learned about one of the traditions. I wanted to share it with you: La Procesión del Silencio, or the Silent Procession. 

What is La Procesión del Silencio?

 It is a solemn and mystical event in San Luis Potosi that takes place on Good Friday. This unique procession is held in complete silence, creating a somber and reflective atmosphere. By 8:00 p.m., the scent of incense permeates the air. A group of drums announces the beginning of the procession as the doors to the Templo del Carmen open. About 30 different cofradías or Brotherhoods emerge, all wearing different-colored robes to represent their parish. 

Participants carry heavy wooden crosses and religious statues through the streets, led by a group of men dressed in black robes and hoods, known as Nazarenos. The Nazarenos walk barefoot, carrying candles as a sign of humility and penance, followed by a group of women dressed in all black who carry a statue of the Virgin Mary. 

The procession begins at the Templo del Carmen and passes through the most famous streets of San Luis Potosí's downtown, passing San Agustín's Cathedral, the San Francisco Temple, and Plaza de los Fundadores.

La Procesión del Silencio ends at midnight at the Templo del Carmen, where a special Mass is held. The event is a powerful and moving experience that encourages participants to contemplate the meaning of Holy Week and the message of Jesus' sacrifice. 

If you're looking for a unique and meaningful way to experience Semana Santa in Mexico, La Procesión del Silencio is a must-see event. Its silent and somber nature creates a reflective atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression. Don't miss this opportunity to witness a powerful and moving tradition during Semana Santa in Mexico!


Have you been? Would you go? Let us know in the comments!




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