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Lakeside Semana Santa observances in a nutshell

Holy Week observances in lakeside’s predominantly Roman Catholic communities fill the calendar between Palm Sunday, March 24, and Easter Sunday, March 3 with solemn rites, the pageantry of Passion Play productions based on Scripture, and age-old Mexican customs.

pg11This abbreviated list of Semana Santa highlights covers activities scheduled in Chapala, San Antonio Tlayacapan and Ajijic. Similar events will take place in Jocotepec, San Juan Cosalá and other lakeshore towns.

Noted times are subject to delays and last-minute changes. Crowds of spectators often assemble an hour or more in advance to secure prime viewing spots. Safeguards recommended for withstanding intense daytime sun and heat include lightweight clothing, hats, sunscreen and frequent hydration. Sturdy walking shoes are best for safely navigating irregular terrain to follow during moving sequences.

Motorists are advised to avoid road travel in the vicinity of events that are in progress. Residents are asked to cooperate in keeping parked vehicles off the streets along procession routes.

March 24: Domingo de Ramos

CHAPALA: Palm Sunday procession begins at the pier, 11:30 a.m.,  proceeding to the San Francisco parish for Noon Mass and blessing of palms.

SAN ANTONIO: Palm Sunday procession departs from the waterfront Malecón, 6:30 p.m., following Calles San José and Ramón Corona to the San Antonio parish for evening Mass.

AJIJIC: The Pasión de Cristo committee hosts the Jamaica del Pasado village fair with typical foods and traditional games at the plaza, 4-10 p.m. Passion Play cast principals reenact the Palm Sunday procession, with blessing of palms at Seis Esquinas, 6:30 p.m., continuing east via Hidalgo-Parroquia for Mass at the San Andres parish atrium, 7 p.m.

March 28: Jueves Santo

CHAPALA: Evening Mass Last Supper service, San Francisco parish, 7 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO:  Last Supper service at the San Antonio parish, 7 p.m. Passion Play sequences presented at the Teatro del Pueblo, Cuauhtémoc school opposite the church, 8:30 p.m., reenact the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, his arrest and trials.

AJIJIC: Last Supper service, San Andrés atrium, 7 p.m.  Pasión de Cristo players stage the Last Supper scene, volleyball court at the west end of the Malecón at corner of Calle Libertad, 8:15 p.m. The program continues with Garden of Gethsemane scenes and apprehension of Jesus, mountainside site at the top of Calle Aquiles Serdán-Tempisque, 9 p.m., and torch light march to the plaza for trial by the Sanhedrin, around 10 p.m.

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March 29: Viernes Santo

CHAPALA: Passion Play staged at the San Francisco parish atrium,  9 a.m., continuing with the Via Crucis along Avenida Hidalgo to the Lourdes Chapala for the reenactment of the Crucifixion. Passion of the Lord Mass at the parish, 7 p.m., followed by the March of Silence street procession, 8 p.m., returning to the church for Rosary of Condolence, 9 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO: Viacrucis Viviente begins from Calle Ramón Corona at Arroyo Hondo, 10:30 a.m., heading west across town and zigzagging to the Malecón via San José, La Paz and Colón for the Crucifixion scene. Marcha de Silencio leaves the parish, 8 p.m., passing by the four street corner crosses.

AJIJIC: Pasión de Cristo resumes with scenes of Christ facing judgment by Pontius Pilate and Herod, sentencing, and flagellation,11 a.m., San Andrés atrium.  Via Crucis follows via Calles Parroquia-Hildago, Juárez, Angel Flores and Tempisque to the mountainside Crucifixion site. Christ’s body is carried back to San Andrés for the burial scene. The liturgical celebration of the Lord’s Passion and Adoration of the Cross, San Andrés, 7 p.m., followed by Marcha de Silencio circling the center of town.

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March 30: Sábado de Gloria

CHAPALA: Easter Vigil service at San Francisco parish, 9 pm., with the blessing of candles, water and sacred images brought by parishioners. Judas effigies wired with fireworks are strung up outside city hall and blown up around 11 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO: Blessing of the New Fire ceremony at the Malecón, 9 p.m., followed by a procession to the parish for the Easter Vigil and Resurrection service.

New Fire Blessing, 8:30, Malecón at Ramón Corona, continuing with Easter Vigil service and Resurrection scene, San Andrés atrium, p.m. Quema de Judas effigies ignited at the plaza, around 11 p.m. 

March 31: Domingo de Pascua

Easter Sunday is a day of Holy obligation for the faithful who attend Mass of Resurrection services scheduled at local churches throughout the day.

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