Prayers for rain at Vic Palm Sunday procession

For first time in history amid severe drought, Holy Week opens with a call for heavens to open

A Roman soldier, part of the Holy Week procession in Vic
A Roman soldier, part of the Holy Week procession in Vic / Lourdes Casademont
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Vic

March 25, 2024 11:04 AM

March 25, 2024 12:40 PM

Amid a severe drought that has gripped the territory for years, the traditional Palm Sunday procession in the central Catalan town of Vic has dedicated a prayer for rain for the first time in history. 

Some 500 people filled the streets at night to see the procession, with the nighttime silence broken only by the rhythm of drums and the spears of the Roman soldiers marking the passage.

La verge davant del temple a Vic

Bishop Romà Casanova dedicated a prayer for rain at the moment when Our Lady passed in front of the Church of Pietà. Instead of passing the church facing straight ahead, as normal, the bearers did so facing Sant Llucià and Sant Marcià on the temple, co-patron saints of Vic who are traditionally the ones to ask for rain.

Soldats a la processó de Vic

"For the rain, for the need for water, for our fields, for our towns and for the life of the country," the bishop of Vic called for, inviting attendees to participate in the prayer.

Vic's Holy Week procession, known popularly as that of the Armats de Vic, first took to the streets of the city in 1750.

La plaça de la Pietat a Vic

Since then it has retained its sombre character, without adding music and with silence as a distinctive feature.

Processioners hold candels in Vic

It incorporates the sound of timpani percussion instruments, bells, Roman soldiers striking their spears, and the choral singing of the Stabat Mater.