Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday in Corfu

On this day, the holiest of holies in the Greek Orthodox calendar, the mournful toll of a bell from the village church sweeps across the rooftops and drifts down into the valley.
Tonight, there will be a slow procession from the church in the plateia and up through the winding alleyways, through the middle church of St Paraskevi, in one door and out through the other, and then up to the top, the cemetery church where the candle-bearing villagers will stop for a while to talk to their loved ones who are long gone now, and in their graves.

This melancholy ceremony is called the epitaph and takes place all over Greece as Pascha week nears its climax. At the head of the procession in our village will be a representation of Christ's bier, decorated with red and white carnations and the occasional head of pelargonium.

In Corfu Town, the epitaph procession is accompanied by the island's oldest marching bands, with appropriate music.
It is a time for solemnity, a time for reflection.

Whatever your beliefs, it is a most moving ceremony. For us, it is particularly so when shared with people we have come to know and love over the past eighteen months.

Tomorrow, the spell will be broken as Corfu Town does what it is most famous for at Easter. Pot smashing.

Here's a link to pictures and words I posted on my blog last year.
In the meantime, we will be settling down to an English Good Friday tradition. Mr Grigg's hot cross buns.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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