Day: Friday, March 30
Place: San Francisco Church
After the prayer of the Via Crucis in the morning, the religious community of Quito has in its mind only one thing that is the great procession of Holy Friday that starts at the San Francisco Church. It is estimated that in recent years around 250,000 people have participated in the procession, counting on the thousands of spectators that overflow the Historic Center.
The procession begins at 12h00, in memory of the time when Poncio Pilato condemned Jesus to death. For the 2017 procession, approximately 2,000 people signed up “without counting those who do not register, but join the procession.” The cucuruchos, along with the Verónicas, are the traditional figures that accompany Jesus del Gran Poder and the Dolorosa Virgen in this journey that begins and ends in San Francisco, that runs through the streets of Cuenca, Bolívar, Venezuela and to the north, Manabí, Vargas, José Riofrío, Venezuela, Manabí, García Moreno, Bolívar, Cuenca and ends in the Atrium of San Francisco.
The cucuruchos symbolize the penitents who, dressed in purple, show their regretness and their willingness to change. The Verónicas are the women who remember the one who came to Jesus while going to Calvary and cleaned his face covered in sweat, blood and on whose canvas the face of Jesus Christ would have been impregnated. In Quito, the Verónicas also wear purple and have their faces covered with a black veil.
The procession lasts until three o’clock in the afternoon, the hour of the death of the Lord, and the descent takes place at six o’clock in the afternoon, the time when the day ends for the Jews. In many churches there is the ceremony of the Seven Words and the impressive ceremony of the descent in which the priest, from the pulpit, narrates how the holy women and a group of Apostles were in charge of burying Christ.