Easter Sunday in Gozo: Celebrations to welcome the Risen Christ
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The Easter weekend is upon us, with the Holy Easter Vigil taking place in churches across Gozo on Saturday evening.
Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar since it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a festival celebrating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and he programme of events that have been taking place during Holy Week across the island includes various religious and traditional activities, such as processions, pageants, exhibitions and folklore.
Starting today, Holy Saturday, the parishes of Gozo, as in Malta, will gather the faithful in their churches for a solemn religious service and the traditional rituals of the blessing of water and fire.
The church lights will be turned off, and each of the congregation will then light a candle from the Pascal Candle, resulting in the whole church being bathed in the glow of flickering candles
Bells ring out across the island and the scriptures are read and sermons delivered before the celebrant blesses the Holy Water that is used for baptisms and the whole congregation confirms their faith by reciting the baptismal vows.
After the service the congregation may linger for a while in the church for a drink, or to take a piece of the traditional Figolla (Maltese almond Easter cake).
Celebrations will be both seen and heard on Easter Sunday, which is welcomed with bells ringing out across the islands, a traditional march with the statue of the Risen Christ will take place in some parishes following the service. These marches are usually accompanied by local bands and their popularity has remained undimmed through several centuries.
Processions taking place in Gozo on Easter Sunday of the Risen Christ are as follows:
St George’s Basilica, Victoria at 8.45am
Kercem at 9.15am
Xewkija at 9.30am
Nadur at 10.00am
Fontana at 10.30am
Cathedral, Victoria at 10.45am
Qala at 11.00am
Zebbug at 5.00pm
Xaghra at 6.00pm which is part of the Gozo Easter Festival
Gharb at 6.00pm
Photograph by Alain Salvary