The Maundy Thursday Procession

The appearance of brothers in the Maundy Thursday procession was considered of the utmost importance, and anyone who missed this obligation was severely punished, as witnessed by the approval given by the Board on April 12, 1843 to a proposal submitted by the clerk brother José Maria Barbosa da Silva, according to which the brothers who were supposed to participate in the Maundy Thursday procession and did not attend it without presenting an legitimate impediment before the event, would immediately be expelled of the Brotherhood, according to the Bylaws.

Generally speaking, the procession had a very simple structure, with a well-targeted approach: the Crucified Lord. Starting with the first chant, the procession was organized following a succession of First Flag-Torches-First Miserere / Second Flag-Torches-Second Miserere / Third Flag-Torches-Third Miserere, which was linked with the Statue of Lord, Canopy and the Crucified Lord. The use of torches in this procession was highly valued, contributing to the whole enactment.

Sometimes, the composition of the procession changed. Thus, the procession of 1774 is the one with the most simplified structure, being the only that mentions a standard-bearer, highlighting the statue of the Ecce Homo and the Crucified Lord. Throughout the analysed period, the First Flag, the statue of the Lord and the Crucified Christ emerge as constant elements, followed by the Litany, the Second Flag and the Third Flag. As we pointed out, torches or lanterns framed the main structures, playing a key role, being consistently mentioned. The three Misereres are only mentioned in 1780 and 1784, while the canopy is mentioned in 1784, 1792, 1795, 1796, and from 1896 to 1902.