During Holy Week, in every municipality of Sorrento Peninsula, there are ancient old processions, which carry around the streets symbols of the Passion of Christ, also known as “Martiri”.
They are different in each town, depending on the custom that have been handed down through the generations by the various confraternities. Without a shodow of doubt, the two processions that take place in Sorrento, are the most famous of the Peninsula.
THE WHITE PROCESSION
It starts in the Church of the Annunciation in the early hours of Good Friday and, after crossing the main streets of the city, returns to the same Church at down. Organized by the Venerable Confraternity of Santa Monica, it involves hundreds of people, dressed in White, recalling the route taken by the Virgin Mary in search of her son Jesus, captured and sentenced to Death, as well as the key moments of the passion. For this reason, in addition to the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, the so-called “martyrs” are part of the procession, recalling specific episodes of the last hours of Christ’s life. These include, for example, a purse (reminiscent of the one containing the thirty pieces of silver that were paid to Judas), a bowl with a tablecloth (in which Potius Pilate washed his hands of the fate of the Messiah), along with a column and a whip (in memory of the flagellation of Christ), a hammer and huge nails ( those used for the Crucifixion) as well as many other objects with a strong allegorical meaning.
THE BLACK PROCESSION
It has ancient origins, fitting in the contest of traditions that date back to the fourteenth century and that with the passing of the centuries have assumed today’s characteristics. Unlike its predecessor, the Black Procession starts at 9:00 pm on Good Friday, from the Churc of the Servants of Mary. It continues along Viale degli Aranci in the direction of the hospital, and then turn into Corso Italia in the direction of Piazza Tasso, preceded by a band. During this procession, along with symbols of the Passion, the statue of the dead Christ and that of Our Lady of Sorrows are also carried accompanied by hundreds of hooded figures and thousands of Sorrentines and tourists following, in an highly suggestive and solemn atmosphere.
Source ” Secrets and Wonders of the Sorrento Coast”