Holy Week in Tegucigalpa
Although many of Tegucigalpa’s residents flee the city to the beach during Semana Santa (Holy Week), the city has been working hard in recent years to revive its once-dying traditions of processions throughout the week that tell different parts of the biblical Easter story — a real boon for anyone around during an otherwise very, very quiet period.
You might be able to confirm the schedule in the weeks leading up to Easter on Tegucigalpa’s municipal website, www.lacapitaldehonduras.com.
The Procession of the Triumphant Arrival, recalling Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem on a donkey, begins at Iglesia El Calvario in Parque Herrera at 7 a.m. The crowds brandish palm leaves, which are blessed in the parque central an hour later in front of the cathedral, when the primary mass of the day begins.
The procession for the Lord of Humility begins at 6 p.m.
The silent, and rather ominous, men-only Procesión de Prendimiento begins at 11 p.m., in remembrance of when the Romans incarcerated Jesus.
Flower and sawdust alfombras (carpets) are laid on the street for the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), beginning at 9 a.m. at the Iglesia San Francisco and ending at Iglesia El Calvario (Parque Herrera). Commemorative acts of the crucifixion take place at the cathedral at noon.
At 5:15 p.m. a statue of the Virgen Dolorosa (Sorrowful Virgin) is taken from the Iglesia San Francisco to the cathedral, in remembrance of Jesus’ burial. The procession of the Holy Burial begins at 5:30 p.m. At 10 p.m. there is a somber all-female procession in honor of Mary, La Virgen de la Soledad (Virgin of Loneliness).
An Easter vigil service is held at 8 p.m. in the cathedral.
Early risers will be rewarded with the chance to see the Carreritas de San Juan at 6 a.m., when a statue of Saint John meets with a statue of the arisen Jesus, who then meets with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Mass follows at 6:30 a.m., and services continue throughout the day in the various churches across the city.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition