The Brotherhood of i Misteri 

“Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!” This sound is heard repeatedly throughout the 24-hours of I Misteri, the procession in Trapani, Sicily on Good Friday known as The Mysteries, or what we call The Stations of the Cross. The sharp clapping sound that cuts through the crowd noise and marching bands, is made with a wooden instrument. It is played by the leader of the confraternity’s team, alerting the brotherhood that they will now put the statue scene down for a rest. 

It’s quite powerful when you see the teams of men – young and old – working together (as pictured here). They know that they can’t lift or hold the artwork themselves. Carrying the statue-scenes of Christ’s final hours on their shoulders requires everyone to work together, because the weight of the station is too great. The act and practice reminds each devotee what Jesus withstood while carrying his cross. I Mister is inspirational and beautiful to see: Such brotherhood. Such community. Such devotion.  

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