Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Holy Week Celebrations in Brazil

One of our most faithful photopost contributors, Mr João Melo, brought to my attention this interesting video of Holy Week celebrations in his native place, the city of São João del Rei in the state of Minas Gerais. He was also kind enough to provide this translation of the Portuguese text at the beginning.

This documentary presents Holy Week in São João del-Rei, the only city in the world which preserves in full very old rituals that no longer exist in the Vatican itself, and the language of the bells which has been the same for more than 250 years: a calm and efficient interaction between the traditional culture and the contemporary culture.
There are records of the solemnities of Lent and the traditional Holy Week from the confraternities of the “Senhor dos Passos” and the Most Holy Sacrament, from Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, and various activities and cultural manifestations realized at the plaza of St Francisco by (the association) Atitude Cultural.
São João del-Rei, the Brazilian Capital of Culture in 2007, preserves a valuable legacy of colonial and eclectic architecture, beautiful baroque churches, stone bridges, squares where several various activities take place. Masters perpetuate traditional occupations, such as the forging and foundry of bells, iron fences, chandeliers, candleholders, and sacred art in goldsmithery, sculpture, stonemasonry, ceramic, lace and embroidery; a “City of Music”, in which there is a State Conservatory, two bicentennial sacred orchestras - the oldest in the Americas - and innumerable other musical groups. The Federal University of São João del Rei offers dozens of courses, and a Higher Course of Music as well.
The music used in this documentary was composed by the priest José Maria Xavier (1819-18), and taken from the CD “Ofício de Trevas”, vol. 1, interpreted by the Symphonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais, Palácio das Artes Lyrical Choir, directed by Marcelo Ramos.
This documentary is part of the project “To be noble it is to have identity”, approved by the Rouanet Bill

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