TUESDAY – The Procession of the Encounter

The main event on Tuesday is the Procession of the Encounter (Procissão do Encountro), also referred to as the Procession of the Stations (Procissão de Passos). This procession, like the one that takes place on Wednesday, makes a series of stops at little chapels known as 'passos' (stations), and one motet is sung at each station.

The procession is known as the Procession of the Encounter because it involves two processions, one for the men, who follow the (depositied) image of Our Lord of the Stations, and one for the women, who follow Our Lady of Sorrows. At a specified venue, the two images meet, a dramatic event that elicits tears from some devotees.Between the stations, the town band plays its repertoire of dirges.


There are seven stations, including the Cathedral and the Church of Sorrows. Each of the five stations contains a large painting depicting one of the Stations of the Cross, and the choir sings the motet that narrates the episode being represented. The family responsible for the chapel lovingly decorates it with flowers and candles.

  The 1st Station is commemorated at the Church of Sorrows, where the choir sings the 1st Motet of the Stations, Pater mi, in the series by Manoel Dias de Oliveira. The text and translation are as follows:  



Pater mi, si possibile est, transeat a me calix: veruntamem non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu.

My Father, if this chalice may not be taken from me, but I must drink it, thy will be done.

  The 2nd Station contemplates Jesus carrying the cross. As the participants in the procession contemplate the painting contained in the chapel, the choir sings the 2nd Motet of the Stations, Bajulans. The text and translation are as follows:  

Bajulans sibi crucem Jesus exivit in eum, qui dicitur Calvariae locum.

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull.
  The 3rd Station commemorates Jesus's encounter with his mother. Upon arriving at the chapel the choir sings the 3rd Motet of the Stations, Exeamus.The text and translation are as follows:  

Exeamus ergo ad eum extra castra, improperium ejus portantes.

Let us meet him outside the camp, carrying his humiliation.



  Following the choir's performance, there is a lengthy sermon which culminates in the meeting of the two images, that then process together back to the Cathedral.  
  The next Station contemplates the assistance Jesus received from Simon Cyrenian with the motet Angariaverunt. This is actually the 5th motet, but it is sung as the 4th so the text will co-ordinate with the painting in the chapel.  

Angariaverunt Simonem Cyreneum ut tolleret crucem ejus.

And they compel one Simon Cyrenian, who passed by, to bear his cross.



  The next Station is devoted to Jesus's encounter with Veronica, a non-biblical character who wiped the blood from Christ's face, capturing his image on her cloth. At this station the choir sings the 4th Motet, O vos omnes.  

O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videre si est dolor sicut dolor meus.

Oh, all who pass this way, look and see if there is sorrow like my sorrow:



  The choir perform Filiae Jerusalem at the 6th Chapel.  

Filiae Jerusalem, nolite flere super me, sed super vos et filios vestros.

Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

  The 7th Station is celebrated at the Cathedral, where the choir sings the 7th Motet of Sorrows, Popule meus.  

Popule meus, quid fecit tibi? aut in quo contristavi te? Quia eduxi te de terra Aegypti, parasti crucem Salvatori tuo, Responde mihi.

Ye people: what have I done to you or in what have I offended you? I took you out of the land of Egypt, but you have prepared a cross for your Saviour. Answer me.

At the conclusion of the procession, the images are taken into the Cathedral, and the population wait in turn to bless themselves.
The twelve people chosen to represent the apostles throughout Holy Week stand honouring the images while the population show their devotion.