Thursday, 10 June 2010

6 June 2010 - Corpus Cristi in Parcent

We missed it for the four previous years we have lived here, but the presence of our visitors prompted us to make the effort this year. And we were pleased that we did. Our deputy mayor is English, and she sends us emails to keep us informed what is happening. The first one said the procession would start at 9pm, the second said it would be 7pm and a hand written notice outside the church said 5pm! We settled for the second email and walked down to the village for 7pm and arrived just before the procession started.

The route of the procession was marked by a trail of flowers and an altar. Each street was different and the occupants, who had done the work, sat outside their house on wooden chairs admiring their work and waiting for the whole thing to start.

It all starts with a church service. Then the priest is escorted around the village by locals in their best dress and carrying candles, with the village band bringing up the rear. They stop at each altar, the band plays a few notes and the priest gives a blessing to one and all.

Then it’s off down the street to the next altar. Everyone, except the priest, is careful to avoid the tastefully laid flowers.

However no one seems to have told the band, who shuffle along crunching the flowers. As they are at the back of the procession no one seems concerned.

One little girl brought up the rear quite happy with a little parade of her own. She was a great favourite of the crowd.

Then it was back to the village square and a peal of bells from the church tower to mark the end of the procession. The peal was loud, though not particularly musical. Looking up we could see a pair of hands swinging the bells. Not sure whether this is normal, or whether someone has pinched the bell ropes.

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