Gozo, as in Malta, Easter is celebrated with high liturgical and
festive activities. As from Easter Saturday, all parishes gather
the faithful in their churches for religious service. In this function
there are the traditional rituals of the blessing of water and fire.
The church lights are
turned off reducing visibility to a mere glimpse. Then many candles
are lit up from the Pascal Candle and the whole church springs alive
with hundreds of yellow flickers. This traditional rite is then
followed by the chimes of all sorts of bells.
After the reading of several passages from the Scriptures
and the delivery of a sermon, the celebrant blesses the holy water
that is used for baptisms while the whole congregation confirms
their faith by reciting the baptismal vows. After the service the
congregation usually stays for a while in the church premises for
a drink or a taste of the traditional Figolla (Maltese almond Easter
On Easter Sunday Gozo wakes up to the cacophony of
Gozo's church bells. Christians flock to their parishes for the
Easter Mass, while some parishes follow the Easter religious service
with a traditional march with the statue of the risen christ. These
traditional marches are usually accompanied by local bands and their
popularity remained unchanged throughout the ages. These processions
offer a sharp contrast to those of Good Friday as the sombre atmosphere
gives way to a general expression of joy. In some parishes the bearers
run with the statue for the last part of the procession. At the
end of each dash, the bearers lift and jolt the statue high up on
their arms as a sign of victory.
Gozo's capital town - Victoria
organises two processions with the statue of the risen Christ. The
first procession goes out of St.George's Basilica accompanied by
marches from La Stella Band. Upon its festive conclusion, as if
to eternally prolong this commemorative morning, another procession
emerges from within the Citadel walls, precisely from the Gozo Cathedral,
this time accompanied by Leone Band.