Messina towards Easter, there is a crowd at the Cathedral for the blessing of the Palms: all the events of Holy Week


By John

Olive twigs and palm trees, signs of peace and harmony increasingly evoked, less and less practiced: Kissed by the sun and the ever-present wind, it is Sunday that opens Holy Week, with its rites and devotional practices.

Welcomed by the last festive bell ringing before Easter, the people of Messina gathered in Piazza Duomo for the traditional rite of blessing and the celebration of Palms. The archbishop presided over it Giovanni Accolla, which commemorated the entry of Christ into Jerusalem accompanied by the seminary community and the brotherhood of the SS. Crucifix, in the presence of the mayor and the deputy mayor.

From emotion, often the result of sensationalism, to amazement: the meaning of this day, a prelude to Easter, is to let oneself be provoked by Christ by questioning oneself, said Mgr. Accolla, leaving worldly logic to experience the joy that comes from Jesus. “Let us humbly lay ourselves before Christ rather than waving inanimate branches or green foliage, destined to lose, with their sap, vitality. Recalling the tragedies that humanity experiences: wars, marginalization, poverty, unemployment, the archbishop urged those present to “exit the limbo of emotion, from worldly logic to follow Jesus by loving our brothers and experience the joy that comes from him. Next Thursday at 10am in the Cathedral, the archbishop will preside over the traditional Chrism Mass in which the priests renew the promises of their ministry and the oil of the Catechumens, the Sick and the Sacred Chrism are blessed.

The same rite will be held in the co-cathedral of S. Bartolomeo in Lipari two days earlier, on Tuesday 26 March at 6pm, with the participation of the priests and communities of the Aeolian Islands. The Easter Triduum will open with the “in Coena Domini” mass on Holy Thursday and the ritual of foot washing presided over at 6.30 pm by the auxiliary bishop Cesare Di Pietro; Friday at 5.00 pm the liturgical action with the adoration of the Cross presided over by the archbishop who will immediately afterwards join, together with the priests, the centuries-old procession of the Barette. The 11 statue blocks will leave the Nuovo Oratorio della Pace church in Via 24 Maggio to cross the centre, accompanied by seven bands and the characteristic figures of the Babbaluci and the Biancuzze; new this year are the drums of the Rione Panzera cultural association of Motta S. Anastasia;

The event will be followed live by Rtp also within the Scirocco broadcast until the return with the evocative 'nchianata. The Easter vigil will be held on Saturday 30 March at 10pm in the Cathedral. Sunday 31st, Easter day, at 10.30 am the pontifical mass presided over by Msgr. Cesare Di Pietro, in the presence of the highest civil and military authorities.