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Testimonies of the resurrection

Holy Week is the most important liturgical period of the year; it invites us to pray, to reflect and to live our particular penance that will lead us to Easter Sunday so we can bear witness to the Resurrection.

PALM SUNDAY

At the gateway of Holy Week, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the events that commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of the Son of God. 

It began with the blessing of the palms and branches in the patio of the Episcopal Palace, an act led by Monsignor Sebastià Taltavull, accompanied by the Cathedral Chapter and over one hundred worshippers. The Cathedral choir in their red and white robes led the procession into the temple. The act commemorates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem surrounded by crowds who proclaimed him as the Messiah. 

The Cathedral was overflowing with thousands of worshippers who, like every year, await the arrival of the procession to attend mass, during which there were readings from the Passion of Christ. These two important moments marked the start of Holy Week. 

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HOLY MONDAY

Now a traditional event in our Holy Week, Projecte Home Balears once again organised its annual charity concert with a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, which was attended by Queen Sofia.

This musical event featured the Balearic Islands Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Pablo Mielgo, as well as the choir of the University of the Balearic Islands, led by Joan Company, with the collaboration of the choir of the University of Valladolid. 

The concert featured performances by the soprano Karina Flores, the mezzosoprano Anna Pennisi, the tenor Francisco Corujo and the bass Simón Orfila.

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HOLY WEDNESDAY

The Chrism Mass is one of the largest diocesan events in which priests, deacons and members of religious orders participate. 

The Cathedral looked magnificent, worshippers filled the temple to witness the Bishop of Mallorca consecrate the Holy Chrism and bless the oils of catechumens and of the sick that will be used throughout the year in parishes across Mallorca.

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HOLY THURSDAY

This is one of the most important and emotional days in the Palma Holy Week calendar. It began with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, led by Monsignor Taltavull, accompanied by the Canons and more than one thousand people who gathered to experience the service in the Cathedral. 

As in many places all over the world, on Thursday 18 April the gesture Jesus made to his disciples two thousand years ago was repeated in the Cathedral of Mallorca. It was carried out by the Bishop of Mallorca, who washed the feet of twelve brotherhood members who then joined the Holy Thursday procession after the mass.

After the celebration the Cathedral awaited the arrival of the procession of the Sant Crist de la Sang, the biggest procession of Palma’s Holy Week. The procession was followed devoutly by Palma’s residents despite the strong wind that made its presence felt throughout the evening, with a large crowd of worshippers gathering near the Cathedral.

Lit by candles, with the scent of incense in the air, the “pasos” (the religious floats) of the 33 brotherhoods awaited the arrival of the Crist de la Sang. Devotion to this image has a long tradition among the city’s inhabitants. Since 1564 it has led the Holy Thursday procession in Cuitat, and is one of the most venerated images in Mallorca.

At around 3am the image of the Crist de la Sang made its entrance into the Cathedral accompanied by large numbers of devout followers, and once again it was apparent that the emblematic image has a special place in Mallorcan people’s hearts.

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GOOD FRIDAY

This is a day of pain and mourning, when we remember Jesus’s crucifixion and death. Mass is not celebrated on this day, instead we celebrate the Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord. One of the most important moments of the evening was the Descent from the Cross, during which the Cathedral was lit only by candles and the image of the crucified Christ in the centre of the presbytery silenced all those present. 

One of the most imposing events of Holy Week in the Cathedral, the silence was only broken by the sound of the hammer that removed the nails from Christ to lower him from the cross. After the Descent, there was a procession through the interior of the Cathedral, akin to a funeral procession, to carry Jesus’s body to the Tomb.

The events in the Cathedral ended with the Officium Defunctorum by Tomás Luis de Victoria conducted by Joan Company.

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HOLY SATURDAY

At around 10pm the Cathedral was the setting for the Easter Vigil, the liturgical celebration that commemorates Jesus’s resurrection and takes place from evening on Holy Saturday to the early morning of Resurrection Sunday.

The Easter Vigil began with a solemn Easter fire at which Monsignor Sebastià Taltavull blessed the Paschal candle. Then the worshipers who had gathered lit their candles and walked in procession down the central nave of the Cathedral which was in darkness and then the mass began.

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EASTER SUNDAY

Easter Sunday began at the Cathedral with the Canons chanting Solemn Lauds, accompanied by the Bishop of Mallorca. Worshippers began to fill the Cathedral as the start of the procession of the Meeting drew nearer. 

As usual the Cathedral of Mallorca was the setting for the procession of the Meeting, one of the most highly awaited moments by worshippers. It is the meeting of the image of the risen Christ with that of the Virgin Mary, and takes place at the foot of the main altar. Both images are carried in processions to the altar on the shoulders of two important Mallorcan families. The image of the risen Christ started from the chapel of Conception and was carried by the Dameto family, and at the same time the image of the Virgin was carried from the chapel of Saint John the Baptist on the shoulders of the Truyol family. After the procession the Easter Sunday Mass began.

As is traditional, the Royal Family attended the Cathedral on Resurrection Sunday. Their Majesties, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and their daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía, were accompanied by Queen Sofía. 

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