Displaying posts 1 - 6 out of 6.
  • I would like to open this discussion post t o group info relating to Easter in Malta, mostly about traditions, what to do, where to visit, etc
    Feel Free to contribute here!

    Posted on 11:06 on 21 April
  • Maundy Thursday

    the evening. During the this Mass, the Church celebrates the Institution of the sacraments of Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist. As part of the mass the celebrant symbolically washes the feet of twelve members of the congregation, representing the twelve apostles.

    Soon after this Celebration, the community starts what is called "Is-Seba' Visti", which are prayers said in seven differnt chapels where the Holy Sacrament in exposed for prayers and veneration. This continues on Good Friday Morning until noon.

    Posted on 11:09 on 21 April
  • Is-Seba' Visti

    The following is a sample of the prayers normally recited at each of the 7 churches. Each church is related to a Visit

    Adorazzjoni ghal Hamis ix-Xirka. Nimxu wara Gesu' mill-Getsemani sal-Kalvarju.

    Gesu' fil-Gnien tal-Getsemani:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Gesu' flimkien mad-dixxipli wasal fil-gnien tal-Getsemani u qal: "Ghandi ruhi mnikkta ghall-mewt; ibqghu hawn u ishru mieghi."Mexa kemmxejn il-quddiem, inxtehet wiccu fl-art jitlob, u qal: "Missier, jekk jista jkun, bieghed minni dan il-kalci! Imma mhux kif irid jien,izda kif trid int."

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Guda, b'Bewsa ittradejtni:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Sinjur Alla tal-hniena illi hallejt li tkun minn Guda mqarraq b'bewsa, ghatini grazzja li ma nqarraq qatt la lilek u lanqas lill-proxxmu tieghi u li jiena dejjem inkun imhejji biex nuza dik il-karita u mhabba mhux biss versu l-hbieb tieghi imma wkoll ghal dak tal-ghedewwa tieghi.

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Gesu' mehud quddiem Kajfa:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Is-suldati u l-kaptan taghhom, flimkien ma' l-ghasses tal-Lhud, hadu lil Gesu' ghand Kajfa il-qassis il-kbir, u ngabru l-qassisin il-kbar kollha u x-xjuh u l-kittieba. Kajfa kien ta parir lil-Lhud li jkun jaqbel li bniedem wiehed imut ghall-poplu. Bdew ifittxu xiehda kontra Gesu' biex jaghtuh il-mewt, u ma sabux.

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Gesu' mehud quddiem Pilatu:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Filghodu kmieni, il-qassisin il-kbar iltaqghu max-xjuh,mal-kittieba u mas-Sanhedrin kollu biex jiftiehmu bejniethom. Imbaghad,rabtu lil Gesu' haduh u tawh f'idejn Pilatu. Pilatu staqsieh: "Inti s-sultan tal-Lhud?" u hu wiegbu u qallu: "Inti qieghed tghidu." Il-qassisin il-kbar bdew jaqilghu hafna akkuzi kontra tieghu… Imma Gesu' ma wiegheb xejn, hekk li Pilatu baqa' mistaghgeb!

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Gesu' mehud quddiem Erodi:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Erodi ferah meta ra lil Gesu' ghax, minn dak li kien sema' fuqu, kien ilu zmien jixtieq jarah. Ghamilu bosta mistoqsijiet, imma Gesu' ma wiegheb xejn. Is-skiet ta' Gesu' kien canfira qawwija kontra l-ghemil hazin, u quddiem dan is-skiet Erodi ma sab xejn x'jghid. Ipprova jwaqqghu ghac-cajt. Imma l-Mulej baqa' sieket

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Gesu' mehud lura ghand Pilatu:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Pilatu qalilhom: "Gibtuli quddiemi lil dan il-bniedem bhala wieghed li qieghed ixewwex lill-poplu. Ara jiena stharrigtu quddiemkom fuq dawn l-akkuzi u ma sibt ebda htija fih. U anqas Erodi ma sab, ghax rega' baghtu ghandi. Qeghdin taraw mela, li ma ghamel xejn li haqqu l-mewt." Izda huma ghajtu: "Salbu, salbu!" Pilatu halla lilu nnifsu jintrebah mill-biza ghal giehu, hasel idejh u tah f'idejhom biex isallbuh huma!

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Gesu' lejn il-Kalvajru:
    Nadurawk, O Gesu' u nberkuk ghax b'salibek u l-mewt tieghek inti fdejtna.

    Gesu' refa' is-salib u hareg lejn il-post li jghidulu Golgota. Hemm huma sallub bejn zewg hallelin. Bil-mixja tieghu lejn il-Kalvarju, u bil-mewt tieghu fuq is-salib, Gesu' jaghtina l-akbar xhieda ta' mhabbtu. Dan kollu hu garrbu biex int titwieled mill-gdid fil-hbiberija ma' Alla.

    Missierna, Sliema, Glorja (Hames darbiet)

    Posted on 11:12 on 21 April
  • For sure – Friday a lot of processions are held in various villages and towns like Mosta, Rabat, Zebbug, Zejtun, the 3 Cities, Valletta, Naxxar and Paola, not to forget Rabat (gozo) which funnily has 2 processions, one is held on Ashes Thursday and the other one on Good Friday. This is due the 2 parishes and they alternate each year. Well Sunday morning the places to be are the 3 cities, where they have the procession and they run with the statue. Other parishes like Mosta have their Easter procession in the evening. During the Good Friday processions you can buy the Carob Sweets or the Apostles Bread. While for sure in Easter Figolli (Traditional Almond Sweet usually in a form of an animal or heart) is a must.

    Posted on 11:14 on 21 April
  • I grew up in Mosta in the 60's (born 1950 )and every Good Friday my mum would have the seamstress sew a new outfit for us 4 girls.We just loved it.We lived in a street ( Stivala Str )where the prcession went past our house and the relatives would all come to our house to sit on chairs on the footpath to watch the whole pracession go past.

    Posted on 11:28 on 21 April
  • ic-cuqlajta


    The Church bells in the Christian world are customarily silent during Passion Week, from Maundy Thursday to the Gloria on Holy Saturday. Ever since the Middle Ages, during this period bells have been replaced by a wooden clapper or ratchet. These instruments of Holy Week carry several associations in peopleu2019s minds u2013 the crowds shouting out to hang Jesus, the Roman soldiers approaching, the suffering of Jesus, repentance for sins committed, mourning for Jesusu2019 death, or crushing the bones of Judas. Clappers and scrapers were used by early man in ancient ritual and were attributed with magical powers, particularly that of chasing evil. When later adopted in association with Christianity, they retained some of this magical function.1 Exactly when the practice of using wooden instruments reached the Maltese islands is uncertain, but one would expect the custom to have been adopted in the Middle Ages. By c1759, when the Gozitan Can. Agius de Soldanis listed the word cokklaita in his dictionary, the instrument had already been long established on the islands.2 We have evidence of it being in use in the Zebbug parish, Malta, in 1787, where we are told that a fee of u201cScudi 0, tari 4u201d was paid to one Antonio Zammit on 27 March of that year u201cper aver accomodato la cocclaeta.u201d3 Patient delving through other Church records should eventually reveal much earlier use of the instrument. A traveller describing Good Friday in Malta in 1839, complains that The noise both in the churches and in the street is enough to deafen any person u2013 it is effected by means of rattles and is supposed to be commemorative of the sins of Judas, by cracking his bones.4 The old custom of using wooden instruments continues to this day in many Maltese churches, while in others it went into disuse during the Second World War or as a result of Vatican Council II (1962-65). Between 1996 and 2002, I visited some 50 churches in the Maltese islands and discovered an unexpected variety of instruments still in existence. In some churches, though they are no longer in use, they have at least been preserved. In others, they have unceremoniously been destroyed or discarded. Type of instrument and terminology There are generally two instruments in each church in Malta: a large one used up in the bell tower or on the roof in lieu of the belfry bells, and a much smaller variety used inside the church. Instruments replacing belfry bells developed into large constructions able to produce a sufficient volume of sound to be heard around the village. The other instrument, usually played by an altar boy standing behind the main altar, has much smaller dimensions since it only needs to resound inside the church. Both the large and the smaller instruments are wooden idiophones, known locally as cuqlajta, cuqlqija or coklajta. The Maltese word encompasses a vast range of wooden instruments, irrespective of size, construction or mode of sound produced. Terminology appears to be imprecise and unreliable in literature encountered not only in the Maltese language, but also in English and Italian. Can. Agius de Soldanisu2019 translation of cokklaita into Italian is u201cTabella. Strumento di suono strepitoso, chi si suona la settimana santa invece delle campane.u201d5 The Italian term tabella is strictly speaking a clapper, which is only one of the varieties found in Malta. The term may, however, also have been referring to other types of wooden instruments. In English, the cuqlajta has in the past generally been described as a u201crattleu201d, a misleading term that should also be taken to stand generically for a variety of struck or scraped instruments. Use of the cuqlajta In Toledo Cathedral in Spain, an instrument known as a matraca plays incessantly for 48 hours before the Gloria on Holy Sunday.6 This means that it is played from Maundy Thursday all the way through to Holy Saturday. In Malta, the cuqlajta is generally only played for short stretches at a time. Not all churches follow the exact pattern of use. Many only use the cuqlajta inside the church during the Elevation in the Maundy Thursday evening Mass, and then again on Good Friday in the belfry to announce the three ou2019clock function. Others might use it more frequently and for longer stretches. In villages such as Zejtun and Zebbug, where a Good Friday Procession takes place, the belfry cuqlajta is also sounded throughout the whole procession. One parish that sets itself traditionally-kept specific times of use, and is worth quoting here, is that of St Helen Basilica of Birkirkara:7 u2022 Maundy Thursday: Inside the church. During Elevation and Sanctus of evening Mass. After Mass (c7.30pm): when the Sacrament is placed in the sepulchre.8 In the belfry (8.00 to 8.15pm): Calling the faithful to the Seven Visits.9 u2022 Good Friday: In the belfry (6.45-7.00am): When the priests congregate before the Sacrament. In the belfry (8.00-8.10am): To announce that the church is opening for Visits to the Sepulchre. In the belfry (12.00-12.15pm): When the Church is closing. In the belfry (2.45-3.00pm): Calling the faithful to the 3 ou2019clock function. u2022 Holy Saturday: In the belfry (8.15-8.30pm): Before Easter Mass. During the Gloria of the Easter Mass, the church bells are once again joyfully resumed, and the wooden instrument put aside till the following year. Anna Borg Cardona holds diplomas in music, and carried out research on musical instruments. This article first appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Treasures of Malta, which is published by Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti. Treasures of Malta is a magazine about art and culture that is published three times a year, and is available from all leading bookshops. Part 2 will be carried next Wednesday. Notes 1 Klaus P. Wachsmann, u201cThe Primitive Musical instrumentsu201d in Musical Instruments through the Ages, ed Anthony Baines, (London, Faber & Faber, 1966), 29 2 Can. Agius de Soldanis, Dizionario Maltese Italiano Latino, Malta National Library, Ms. Libr.143. 3. Haz-Zebbug Bills Register 1781-1818. The word accomodato probably refers to repairs made to an already existing instrument. For this information, I am indebted to Dun Salv Caruana, who carried out research on the Zebbug parish registers. 4. Anonymous diary 1839, Malta National Library, Libr. 1438. 5. Tabella. A stridulent instrument which is played during Holy Week instead of bells (tr. Anna Borg Cardona). Dizionario Maltese Italiano Latino, Ms. 143, 117v. See also Damma, Ms 143, 97r. 6. Dizionario Encilopedico Universale della Musica e dei Musicisti (1984) sub voce matraca. 7. For this information I am indebted to Can. Anton Mallia Borg and the informative cuqlajta player, Vladimir. 8. On Maundy Thursday the Sacrament is moved from the main altar to a side altar which is decorated profusely with white flowers and sprouting grain. This altar of repose is known as the Sepulkru. G. Cassar Pullicino compares this custom, also observed in Sicily and Calabria, to that of placing flowers on the grave of Adonis. See Studies in Maltese Folklore, (Malta University Press, 1992) 52. 9. On Maundy Thursday evening and Good Friday morning, the Maltese traditionally visit the Sepulchre in seven different churches, reciting prayers.

    by Anne Borg Cardona
    Malta Independent
    04 April 2007

    Posted on 21:15 on 22 April