Semana de Pascua, Easter Week on Mallorca truly is spectacular. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass of the Lord’s Passion celebrated in the Cathedral of Palma. Priests and believers pass through the alleys, led by the bishop of Palma. Palm and olive branches are consecrated with blessed water and numerous spectators decorate themselves with the green branches as well.
During Semana Santa, the Holy Week, enormous images of Christ on the Cross, Madonna’s and Saints are carried through the city accompanied by figures in long pointed hoods. Like this the various brotherhoods of Palma create a medieval atmosphere in the procession “Crist de la Sang” (The blood of Christ) – Goosebumps included! This procession, documented in 1554 is one of the most important of Semana Santa.
The oldest brotherhood of Palma also dates from this time. There are 30 brotherhoods in Palma alone, 50 in all of Mallorca and most of them were established in the twentieth century particularly in the forties or fifties and a few in the nineties. The brotherhoods each have their own habit and hood colours, different banners and unique statues of Saints or of Christ on the cross. The Ceremony of the Silent Penitents (previously an all male affair, nowadays also has women members of the brotherhoods, there being one brotherhood that is only women) begins in the evening at the Plaza de l’Hospital and travels through the centre of the city along and crossing the streets of Olmos, Sant Miguel, Colom, Plaza de Cort, Paseo Borne, Jaime III, Calle Bonaire until reaching the Church, Iglesia de La Sang.
Each brotherhood is accompanied by a musical group whose drums beat the rhythm of the march. The figure, “Crist de la Sang” is the most important Crucified Christ statue in Palma. Only after the penitents have received their blessings can the celebrations of Easter begin. The Villages of Mallorca also have their processions and masses.
The Evening Mass on Easter Sunday is especially worth seeing as it is the most important Mass in the whole year and there is the presence of a great number of Mallorcas priests. The ceremony is led by the Bishop of Mallorca, with the highlight being the renewal of the sacramental oils. The oils which come from Bunyola are blessed along with bread, water and wine. On this day The Cathedral of La Seu is not only wonderful from the outside but also inside where the resplendent atmosphere of devotion is unique.