Five Weeks of Lent
- Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 1:50
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The time of year known as Lent (or Cuaresma in Spanish) is a period of forty days starting on the Wednesday that follows Mardi Gras – Ash Wednesday. These forty days are regarded by many Christians as a period of preparation in which the life of Jesus is celebrated before the final week (Holy Week) when the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus are commemorated.
There’s evidence that Lent has been celebrated in Rome since at least the year 385, because during the late 4th century its duration was set at forty days beginning six Sundays prior to Easter. During Lent, most of the churches in and around La Antigua celebrate the season with many activities.
Friday, March 3th: Holy Vigil
The first holy vigil, or velación, of Lent takes place in the aldea of Santa Catarina Bobadilla. In this village, located about 4 kilometers (2½ miles) from the center of La Antigua, the consecrated image of Jesus the Nazarene of Salvation – named as the Patron Saint of La Antigua in 2009 – is venerated. This religious statue, or imagen, was carved especially for this church by the sculptor Pedro Mendoza in 1817.
The funeral march for Jesus the Nazarene of Salvation is entitled “Tú eres mi Salvación” (“You Are My Salvation”) and was composed by José Antonio Padilla.
Sunday, March 5th: Procession
The Santa Catarina Bobadilla procession is the first procession of Lent, but it originally passed through the streets of the village – and then later through those of La Antigua – on the third Sunday of Lent. By order of the Board of the church’s religious brotherhood (and with the agreement of the hermandades from the other churches in La Antigua), in 1948 it was decided that the procession would be celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent.