Holy Week in Quito – Arrastre de Caudas

 

Quito - Ecuador
Quito – Ecuador

Holy Week – Arrastre de Caudas

The Drag of Cauda was born in the sixteenth century, when in funeral ceremonies honors were given to the generals of the Roman army fallen in battle later this ritual was accepted by the Catholic Church and adapted to honor the death of Jesus. This ceremony has become a firm testimony of devotion and customs, this sacred ritual unique in the world is held in the Cathedral of Quito, on Holy Wednesday, at noon.

The religious penitents leave from the High Altar and cross the temple accompanied by two acolytes, students of the Major Seminary, who carry lit candles. The Archbishop walks carrying the Blessed Sacrament, a jewel of gold and precious stones that has embedded fragments of the True Cross, where Jesus Christ suffered his passion. After completing this tour, the oldest religious canons of the church kneel before the high altar for the Archbishop to shake a large black flag with a red cross on them to symbolically convey the virtues of Jesus Christ.

To end the liturgical act, the Archbishop hits the flagpole three times against the ground, symbol of the resurrection of Christ, to then bless all the faithful. All colors have their meaning: black is the mourning for the death of Jesus Christ, the red of the cross on the flag is the color of martyrdom, purple is the color of penance and the white of purity.

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