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Santo Cristo festival to return this weekend

The Festa Do Senhor Santo Cristo Dos Milagres, as celebrated here a previous year, will take place this Saturday and Sunday (File photograph)

A Portuguese cultural and religious celebration is to take place this weekend following a break of two years brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Festa Do Senhor Santo Cristo Dos Milagres is due to take place today and tomorrow, although the large public event that usually takes place in the car park at the Bermuda Athletic Association will not go ahead this year.

The festival begins on Saturday evening at 8pm when there will be a Mass held at St Theresa's Cathedral in Pembroke.

To commence the festival, the statue of Senhor Santo Cristo will be moved out of the chapel, there will be a procession with the statute inside the church, and then it will be placed on the altar.

There will be a second full Mass on Sunday at the cathedral from 1.30pm which will be attended by dignitaries, special guests and an overseas priest from Portugal, Father Carlos Jacob Moitinho.

After Sunday’s Mass, at about 3pm, there will be a procession starting from St Theresa's before going on to Dundonald Street which will be decorated with flowers, Woodlands Road, Laffan Street and back to the Cathedral.

At the end of the procession, the Somerset Brigade Band will perform at the cathedral where the statue is returned.

Following the procession there will be a small gathering on the Mount Saint Agnes Academy grounds where there will be a raffle draw.

Proceeds will go towards St Theresa's Cathedral and the hosting committee expenses for the 2023 festival.

A spokesman for the Commissao Do Senhor Santo Cristo which hosts the yearly event said: “It’s a great feeling to be coming back to some kind of normality. All the Catholic parishes and their religious committees will be represented.

“There will be children dressed as angels as well as children who have received their First Holy Communion in the procession, and the Senhor Santo Cristo statue will be decorated with flowers.”

The spokesman also said that many had asked him whether the public event at BAA would go ahead but the committee decided not to because of uncertainty surrounding Covid-19.

He added: “We would have the major feast at BAA with food and live entertainment, but because Covid is still out there we didn’t know what the regulations would be and it takes months to get everything prepared.

“A lot of people are still sitting on the fence in terms of going to large group gatherings, but we wanted to keep the culture going and the religious feast alive, with this scaled down version of the festival.

“Hopefully, next year we can go back to BAA and have all the food and entertainment.”

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Published May 21, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated May 21, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Santo Cristo festival to return this weekend

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