Ceremony of Pleureuses

Pleureuses, Ceremony of

Between March 20 and April 23; Friday before Easter
This Good Friday ceremony takes place at the Church of Romont in Switzerland. Held since the 15th century, the ceremony begins with a reading from the Bible of the Passion of Christ (the last seven days of his life). The congregation then begins its procession through the village streets. The weepers or mourners (the Pleureuses ) are veiled in black attire resembling nuns' habits, and walk slowly behind a young girl portraying the Virgin Mary. She walks behind a penitent wearing a black hood and carrying a large cross. The mourners carry the symbols of the Passion on scarlet cushions: a crown of thorns, a whip, nails, a hammer, tongs, and St. Veronica's shroud (Veronica was a woman in the crowd who, as Christ passed her carrying the cross, wiped his face and his image was, according to legend, imprinted on the cloth). During the procession, the town resounds with chants and prayers.
Romont Tourism Office
Rue de Chateau 112
Romont, 1680 Switzerland
41-26-651-9055; fax: 41-26-651-9059