And the awnings got wet again

And the awnings got wet again

2023-06-05 01:03:54

The people of Toledo tell those who walk through the Imperial City and want to listen to them. “The awnings always get wet… If not, it seems that there is no Corpus,” they point out. And it is that the celebration that Toledo is preparing to live this week is so big that it covers several months of the calendar and surprises by the magnificence and quantity of details that are observed around it.

One of those details –and not a minor one– is that for two months, the main streets of the Historic Center of Toledo appear awnings. The appearance of the first awning in the city after Easter is the slap of time, the chasm of the precipice that once again announces the ancestral fact in which this city has recognized itself for almost eight centuries, the celebration of Corpus Christi.

A party to which the Church gives the maximum rank that it can give it, since it calls it the Solemnity of Corpus Christi; that is, there is nothing superior to it, since it is nothing other than the Eucharistic celebration itself… The Blood and the Body of Christ. That is what will take place next Thursday through the streets of the city and for this very reason, the people of Toledo, aware of the importance and symbology of the event, change, modify, and embellish even more each of the corners through which the Sacramento will pass. . If Toledo is beautiful per se… in Corpus it becomes a doubly beautiful enclave.

The awnings are nothing more than the extension of the canopy that guards the Body of Christ inside the church. It is used for high ranks and solemnities and from the beginning it was understood that there was no more important solemnity than the walk of the Sacramento through the streets of the city. For this reason, two weeks after celebrating Easter, the preparations for Corpus Christi begin, with the beginning of the placement of the first awnings along the route.

For the somewhat lost tourist, it is striking that the streets are tarnished and it is not uncommon for them to ask more than once what this circumstance is due to. In fact, it is very common for many of them to think that it is due to a solution or strategy by the municipal authorities to reduce the intense heat that is already shaking the city of Toledo around summer days. The shadow that they cast in the central hours of the day is a relief for the steep streets that they cover and more than one appreciates it. They even say that a famous presenter from the city, many years ago, recently arrived from abroad, said something similar on the radio during a Corpus Christi broadcast: “What a great idea from the council to have put up the awnings to provide shade!”

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Corpus Christi feast is a lively celebration, in constant movement, which even liturgically connects Holy Thursday with its solemnity, sixty days later. Saint Thomas Aquinas composed the most famous Eucharistic hymn, the Pange lingua, which is usually sung one Thursday as another before the adoration of the Sacrament.

Within all this props, the paraphernalia of the awnings is essential because it is the first serious notice to the Toledo that their big party is already here. It happens, instead, that by remaining on for almost two months –one before and one after Corpus Christi– it is common for many of them to get wet from the spring rains.

This year, despite the drought that had been aggravating the situation of reservoirs and supplies, water has been very intensely present in the last days of May and the beginning of June. If the awnings have fallen, as tradition dictates, the Corpus Christi procession can start, one of those great events that you have to see at least once in your life.

The Monstrance of Arfe is the great monument that accompanies the Body of Christ, with its mythical bells and its thousands of gold screws shining and shining in the sun. The Host rests on a small monstrance –as its own name indicates– and around what was once a small piece of unleavened bread and today the Body of Christ, revolves around the enormity of this festival that once again makes Toledo a sacred city and Jerusalem. Spanish.

#awnings #wet


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