The passage that follows has not been casually chosen: it represents only an example of one of the oldest and dearest religious and folkloristic manifestations in most parts of Italy. It is the Good Friday procession. In almost all the Italian towns, this day is remembered with various celebrations, and naturally, Fallo is no different. I believe that even all those who no longer live in the village, remember the Good Friday procession which winded through its streets. In fact, there were two processions: one with the statue of the dead Christ which departed from the Saint John the Baptist church, the other with the Mother which departed from the church of Santa Maria del Soccorso. The Christ went up Vico I la Piazza then towards Via Duca degli Abruzzi , while the Mother went down towards IV Novembre Square, and up again along Viale delle Rimembranze. The encounter took place on the opening where Via Duca degli Abruzzi and Viale delle Rimembranze crossed. Here the two processions united, and continued together through the streets of the village, and went as far as the "Madonnina" and came back together to Saint John the Babpist Church.

What is described in the following passage is a report of the religious ceremony that takes place in Chieti, and which in part, reminds the one that took and still takes place in Fallo nowadays.

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In an old little poem, published in the Chieti dialect by D. Lupinetti and appearing in various versions in many southern centers, the Sorrowful Virgin appears in painful search for her son, who has been taken away from her, and despairs for not being able to help him. When she finally finds him surrounded by his persecutors, rises the cry with which the popular interpretation could express the boundless torment of the Cross:

Oh mother, mother, now that you came
could you have brought me a drop of water?
And the Madonna answers him by offering him the maternal milk, since there is no fountain from which to get water:
If you could recline your head,
I would like to give you a drop of milk.

Chieti's Good Friday, like that of Sulmona, is certainly the highest and most powerful example of a dramatized processional ceremony in which these emotions brought forth by evangelical memory, have been channeled and elaborated in the richness of a ritual minutely defined. The rigidity of the ceremonial does not take anything from the existential involvement of the huge crowd, which becomes itself a protagonist of the drama. The popular and the liturgical come together in perfect harmony, which makes the Chieti procession, which takes place in the evening of the Friday (once it used to start in the morning) one of the most meaningful celebrations of our country. In a long itinerary through the streets and narrow alleys of the city, following an itinerary which once passed by the palaces of the organizers, the procession has in its center the statue of the Addolorata dressed in black and pierced by swords following the iconographic model of Spanish origin, and at her feet is the statue of the wounded and dead Christ.

In the phantasmagoria of the lamps (i lampioni) the XVI and XVII century brotherhoods of Chieti's churches come forward. Once more numerous, as associations representing the various trade guilds, today there only twelve, each one with its own emblems, its own banners, with particular colors of their capes, with hoods that covered the members' faces, to hide their identity in the old days. The most important role has always belonged to the Brotherhood of the Sacro Monte dei Morti founded in 1648, which has the privilege of carrying the statues of Christ and the Madonna. The brothers who, unlike those belonging to other congregations, dress completely in black, with gilded capes, form the sorrowful procession which represents the mourning and funereal suffering in all its tragedy, and certainly they induce anxieties and fears in the children present.

Meanwhile rise the deep and piercing notes of the Miserere composed by the Chieti's native Saverio Salecchy during the XVIII century: an ancient fine rhythm which accompanies the chorus.

The popular traditions of Abruzzo