Procession of Silence in Morelia on Good Friday 2015.
Religion, in particular Catholicism, is deeply rooted in Mexico. There is a strong level of Catholic faith intermingled with ancient native traditions and beliefs. It is fascinating to see how the two can mingle without any apparent opposition or contradiction.
The Procession of Silence originated in Spain and dates back to the 13th century. It was during the Baroque period, from the 17th to the 18th century that it reached its highest significance. When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico they brought along among other things, many of their religious traditions.
The procession takes place on good Friday. The Friday before Easter marks the crucifixion of Jesus. The procession highlights the suffering and heartbreak of the Virgin for the death of her son.
The participants are members of the different confraternities, men, women and children.They walk in silence, many hooded as a sign of their sacrifice and humility. It usually starts at seven in the evening but already hours before, the main square in Morelia starts getting crowded. We placed our selves at the beginning of the procession so we could view the preparations.
The first and almost only sound you hear during the whole procession is the drum beat. You can feel the anticipation in the crowd. It was warm and the evening air was heavy with incense. As a photographer, I was anxious about the light, but just after 7 pm, the mournful sound of a lone trumpeter signaled the anticipated beginning. The drum beat pierced the air and like toy soldiers the procession began swaying to and fro in unison to the sound.
It was an experience I will never forget. The huge crowd stood in silence occasionally you could hear a whisper. It was a poignant reminder of the passing of time.