This took place over a week ago – Good Friday – but it has taken me all this time to try to find the words to describe it and I am still struggling. This is one of the scariest things I have ever seen (although I admit I have led a very sheltered life). The town comes to a standstill as the ‘Regidor’ dressed in red robes leads the procession and rings a bell to warn the town of the arrival of the procession of condemned prisoners. All are wearing hoods to protect their identity. Although La Sanch are a ‘brotherhood’, the religious connations are that they are accompanied by hooded ‘penitents’ carrying extremely heavy statues representing scenes from the passion to remind us that Jesus was also condemned to death.
The old town is silent except for ‘sacred music’ being played over loudspeakers and the sound of the leaders banging sticks on the ground to signify a rest. The crowd is respectful and quiet. We watched for nearly an hour but the procession takes an age as the statues are so heavy that the procession has to stop every few minutes for the bearers to take a break. Many are bare-footed, some wear designer trainers under their robes. I am glad to have finally seen this procession but the thought of it still makes me feel a little uneasy.