Vexilla Regis: Leone Concert & Good Friday procession at Gozo Cathedral
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This weekend, in Gozo’s capital, Victoria, the first of three related events gets underway, organised by the Leone Band. These activities, the band said, are intricately entwined with the Gozo Cathedral Church within the Citadel.
An evening of funerary marches and literature, entitled Vexilla Regis, is the first event, which will be held on Saturday, the 28th of March, eve of Palm Sunday, starting at 7.30pm inside the Gozo Cathedral.
Actor Manuel Cauchi and young Clara Sciberras will recite poetry and literature by prolific authors like John Cremona, the late (Fr) George Mercieca who passed away in January, Frank Tanti and Guzé Delia.
The Leone Band will perform, as well as launch, a new set of funerary marches, which it issues biennially.
This year’s Good-Friday concert, as it is more commonly known, will be dedicated to the late Rev Mercieca, a renowned priest and poet who served as Spiritual Director for the Leone Band from 1996 until 2010.
Entrance for the concert is free of charge and seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.
“Aside from solemn liturgy embedded within sombre ambiences, and higher order reflections that the mysteries of faith are intended to evoke, Good Friday is another high-season for culture and traditions. After all, this is the language the Maltese people have spoken for so long that it has become heritage in its own right and might,” the Band said.
The Good Friday procession around the historic centre of Victoria, takes place on the 3rd of April. It exits from the Gozo Cathedral at 6.00pm and will be broadcast live on TVM.
The organisers said that “this oldest-known procession of its kind in Gozo is planned to take place as usual, weather permitting, despite the major infrastructural works happening within the Citadel’s main square, the access road leading to the bastions and the two main squares of the city.”
It sees the participation of hundreds of volunteers who either parade 7 statues or dress up as biblical figure and contingents of Roman soldiers.
The new set of funerary marches launched during the Vexilla Regis concert, which will also be available on a CD entitled Vexilla Regis, will then be performed during the Good Friday procession
Then on Easter Sunday, the Leone Band will then parade the statue of the Risen Christ. It starts from the Gozo Cathedral at 10.30am and goes round Savina and Independence Squares before it returns within the Citadel walls.