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The Daily Sketch – Viernes Santo

It’s Good Friday, arguably the most important day in the Christian calendar, and, if you’re not into that kind of thing, an excuse for a day off to do some DIY! I always remember Good Friday with a degree of childlike fascination at an overwhelming morbidity and yet a profound sense of excitement at the scale and importance of the day. In the church where I used to be a chorister, they would hold a three hour service. Towards the end of that service they would strip the contents of the church bare leaving the place utterly bleak. This would mark a huge contrast to Easter Sunday morning, whereupon the church would be bursting at the seams with flowers and a sunny sense of celebration. For many, the role of the church on Good Friday has disappeared, and along with it, much of what made the day special for me in the past has filtered away. I couldn’t even find Ben Hur on the television, which could always previously be relied upon to instal a little Romanic pomp into the day!

Once again I find my thoughts floating towards Spain where, on this “Viernes Santo” they hold the most solemn procession of them all – a wax effigy of a startlingly lifelike dead Christ, and a weeping Mary, while the participants in the parade are dressed in an eery black and, at least in Marbella, there is no band – only silence and a recurring, foreboding drum beat. It’s chilling.

Marbella's startlingly realistic wax effigy of the dead Christ, paraded on Viernes Santo

Since Spain has very much been the concentration of my approach to Holy Week on the Daily Norm, I thought I’d mark Good Friday/ Viernes Santo with the most substantial Norm Sketch I have yet completed – far bigger than the rest and packed full of detail, this is a full on Semana Santa parade, complete with crowds, a tronos, the nazareños, the women wearing mantillas, and the altar boys wafting incense through the air. And below, just so you don’t miss a thing, some detail shots.

Semana Santa (Miercoles Santo) (2012 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Enjoy Good Friday, however you choose to spend it, and see you back here over the weekend.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2005-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. milliega #

    Wow it’s so detailed! Looks amazing there… completely different.. not much is happening over here.

    April 6, 2012

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