Good Friday & Easter Sunday: All You Need To Know
Easter in Malta is a big deal! And there is so much happening during this time! It’s a must, even for non-believers or not church goers, to witness at least one of the Easter processions. Being it one on the occasion of Our Lady of Sorrows, Palm Sunday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday.
Nearly every town and village around the Maltese islands organises their own procession. But which one is the best one? What time do they start? How long do Maltese processions lasts? Very common and frequently asked questions, yet very few answers online.
I was getting frustrated by not being able to find answers myself. This is the result! I gathered all the information possible so you should be able to find all the desired answers! 🙂
These Easter processions are of very high standards and can be easily compared to some organised abroad. These processions are integral part of Malta’s heritage and as such they can be an attraction to many people from abroad who do not see such religious manifestation in their countries.
It should actually be promoted as part of Malta’s religious tourism campaign. As what you will see during the Holy Week in Malta is remarkable.
If you want more detailed information about the processions and Holy Week in general, you can read my blog about ‘Good Friday Procession in Nadur, Gozo.’
What to expect?
First of all, Good Friday is a Public Holiday in Malta, so if you’re a tourist, take that into consideration. What can you expect to see on Good Friday?
During the procession, statues representing “The Passion of the Christ” (the short final period in the life of Jesus beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion) are carried out of local churches. Each statue represents an episode from “The Passion of the Christ”. These life size statues are carried by a group of men. Depending on their size varying from 6 to 10 men.
A local brass band plays solemn music to set the mood. The musical march leads the way and forms an essential part of the ceremonial activities tied with the processions.
Where to go for Good Friday procession in Malta?
Good Friday (19th April 2019) processions in Malta are as follows:
Valletta, Ta’ Giezu Church – 6:00pm
Mosta, Rotunda – 5:30pm (Preparing for Holy Week in Mosta article)
Naxxar, Parish Church – 5:30pm
Għargħur, Church of the Apostle St. Bartholomew – 5:30pm
Birgu (Vittoriosa), Collegiate Church of Saint Lawrence – 5:30pm (Birgu’s Holy Week & Good Friday Procession Article)
Isla (Senglea), Parish Church – 5:30pm (Senglea’s Hole Week & Easter article)
Bormla (Cospicua) – 5:30pm (Cospicua’s Good Friday Procession article)
Luqa, St. Andrew’s Church – 5:30pm (YouTube video from 2016)
Paola, parish church of Christ the King – 5:30pm
Qormi, St George’s (San Gorg) Parish Church – 5:30pm
Żejtun, Parish Church of Saint Catherine – 5:00pm
Żebbuġ, Parish Church – 5:30pm (I’ve heard that this one is really good, but very long!)
Rabat, Ta Giezu Church – 5:30pm
Where to go for Good Friday procession in Gozo?
Victoria (Rabat) – San Ġorġ Basilica – 6:00pm
Nadur – 6:00pm (Easter Procession in Nadur, Gozo, my blog from 2018)
Xagħra – 6:00pm (Last year’s procession in pictures)
Żebbuġ – 6:00pm (Photographs of Zebbug’s procession 2016)
I filmed this video for Azure TV 3 years ago, when I witnessed the Good Friday Procession in Nadur Gozo. I still remember until today how cold it was that day and I was in a t-shirt! But hats off to all the bare foot and hardly dressed participants of the procession. What a dedication!
Last Supper Live Re-Enactment
I would like to also mention an event that’s taking place in Ghajnsielem on Holy (Maundy) Thursday evening from 8:30pm until 11:30pm
and Good Friday from 9:00am till 10:30am. It is a live re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper. This activity will take place at Ta’ Passi fields. For more information please click here.
Good Friday Night Walk 2019
Want to do something different this Easter? For the 16th consecutive year, on the night between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and annual pilgrimage is being organised with over 10.000 people participating!
This is a fundraising event in aid of Puttinu Cares. This walk starts on Friday 19th April, 2019 at 00:30am in front of the Parish Square of Mellieha and ending at the Granaries in Floriana. Participation is against 10eur donation.
The length of this pilgrimage is approximately 22 kilometres and should take about 4 hours to complete. Everyone taking part will receive a certification of participation. For more click here.
Easter Sunday Processions in Malta
The traditional Easter Sunday ‘l-Irxoxt’ celebrations take place in couple of towns and villages. This procession typically involves people running through the street while carrying a statue of the Resurrected Jesus.
Rabat – 10:00 am
Birgu (Vittoriosa) – morning 9/10am (didn’t manage to find exact time), here is a detailed article about this Sunday procession and a video from last year, so you know what to expect
Bormla (Cospicua), Immaculate Conception Church – 9:00 am (Cospicua’s Risen Christ – L-Irxoxt ta’ Bormla article)
I’m sure there will be more places organising Sunday processions, but it is almost impossible to find any updated information online in English. If anyone has some information, please let me know, so I can add it! Let’s promote these unique traditions as much as we can, by giving all the information needed!
For anyone who has never been to such events, please be aware, that these are very popular celebrations. Meaning they attract a lot of people and traffic and especially parking can get very frustrating. If you can car share or opt for a taxi, please do so! You will save yourself a lot of hassle! 🙂
I hope you find this overview useful. If so, please share to spread the word!
All the photos were taken by me during the Palm Sunday procession in Gharhur on 14th April 2019.