On Good Friday, we went down to Centro Historico at midday to catch the Good Friday procession called “Procesión del Jesús de Gran Poder”. We’d heard about the procession and the famous ‘cucuruchos’ but never been down to see it all the time that we’ve been in Ecuador. This is a procession organized by the Catholic church. Devote Catholics put on the purple dress with a cone-shaped hat and mask that leaves holes only for the eyes. They are called cucuruchos and escort the procession. There are people who dress up like Jesus, and carry extremely heavy and gigantic wooden crosses for the entire route. Some bare their bodies and whip themselves with a rope along the way. Others drag iron chains barefooted (on the hot mid-day tar street!) Some carry pictures or sculptures of Jesus. There are also women and children who participate in the procession. Some of the women dress in purple and wear a purple veil. Many of these people do this for penitence, to express repentance and remember Jesus. Over the PA system, someone led the crowd in singing hymns, reciting verses and recalling the path taken by Jesus to the cross.
We watched the procession for about an hour. It was an interesting cultural experience but we left the place feeling heavy-hearted for these people who seemed to be torturing themselves in repentance (some of them had their feet bandaged/bleeding, some hit themselves till they scarred, some carried such heavy crosses they fell from the weight), remembering the painful journey Jesus took to the cross; and at the same time, relieved, grateful and joyful that we have a God who is no longer nailed to the cross. He took our sins, forgave us and also gave us victory over death and sins! 🙂 Praise the Lord!
Thank God for Good Friday because He gave himself for us!