Royal Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher

Good Friday | 19.30 h.

Function of the Descent

Inmaculada Square


Attention places
Inmaculada Square.


In 2003, the confraternity of the Holy Sepulcher regained the function of the Descent, which was held at some time in its life, certainly in the seventeenth century. The recovery is similar to the one in that century. It has been limited to the image of Christ, but the essence is the same, to represent before the public in Inmaculada Square how this ceremony, which had been source of exceptional works for painting and sculpture, could be developed. The image of Jesus is in the new function the so-called "Christ of the disengagement", by Miguel Angel Rojo, which has been articulated to facilitate the movements of the descent. Candle shifts, brotherhoods of the Holy Sepulcher dressed in a monastic habit, their departure from the cloister of the Cathedral and the Descent Lecture constitute some of the elements that make up this act, which has been consolidated in a few years and it is followed more and more by faithful, curious and tourists. It has a script marked by the brother who read the lecture, the unlock is developed, which ends with the Christ lying on a small platform that is kept into the cathedral. In those moments the procession of the Passion and Holy Burial begins, in which Christ dead is already another manifestation of the artistic imagery: the "Holy Sepulcher", work of Ramon Nuñez in 1927.

We are certain that the Brotherhood of St Francisco made, at least during the seventeenth century, the function of the Descent of Christ, a tradition still preserved in one of our towns and that reaches special importance in some parts of Spain. The Franciscanism of the brotherhood, its strong connection to the theater, with which it obtained a money to finance its charitable works in Palencia, and the veneration of the Virgin of Pain in its invocation of the Fifth Anguish are the elements that made it possible to play the representation of the Descent of Christ. On Good Friday, in the convent of St. Francisco, a friar preached the so-called 'Sermon on Descent'. Previously, a stage had been arranged as a theatre scene with cloths of mourning in which were placed the images of Christ and the thieves in their crosses, and the ones of the Virgin, the Marys, Saint John, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. With great detail, the episode was narrated while it was unlocking the Christ to make it descend to the arms of his Mother, placing one by one the attributes of The Passion on some trays ... The Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher recovered this tradition in 2003. The brothers of the Holy Sepulcher who perform the function are dressed in the white processional habit of the Brotherhood and replace the cape and cap with black scapular which let cover the head preserving the identity in memory of the friars who represented "the function" and retaking the color of the habit of the old brotherhood of St. Francisco.


Nails unlock Christ