Holy Thursday Procession in Ceuta: “Encuentro Chico”
The Holy Week in Ceuta is a religious event full of Christian faith, tradition and Spanish identity. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday the streets of Ceuta are flooded with popular Christianity. One of the brotherhoods that make it possible is the Cofradía del Cristo de la Encrucijada y María Santísima de las Lágrimas. This brotherhood is joined on Holy Thursday by members of the "Guardia Civil" and the "Regulares".
The Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) is the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain. It is organized as a military force charged with police duties under the authority of both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense The corps is colloquially known as the Benemérita (reputable). Members of Civil Guard in Ceuta are the responsible of scorting the Cristo de la Encrucijada in the Holy Thursday Procession.
The Fuerzas Regulares Indígenas (Indigenous Regular Forces), known simply as the Regulares (Regulars), are volunteer infantry units of the Spanish Army, largely recruited in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Originally consisting of indigenous infantry and cavalry recruited in Spanish Morocco, forming part of the Army of Africa and officered by Spaniards, these troops played a significant role in the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).
The regulares are divided into Grupos (regiments) and Tabores (battalions) The one which is stationed in Ceuta is the Grupo de Infantería Ligera Regulares de Ceuta nº 54. Their members are the responsible of scorting the “Paso of María Santísima de las Lágrimas” in the Holy Thursday Procession.
On Holy Thursday the “Cristo de la Encrucijada” leaves Civil Guard barraks scorted by members of Civil Guard in Ceuta so as to meet the “Paso of María Santísima de las Lágrimas” scorted by members of the Regulars. This event is known as the “Encuentro Chico” (Small meeting). From then on both groups presided by the Nazarenos from the brotherhood “Cofradía del Cristo de la Encrucijada y María Santísima de las Lágrimas” march in procession.
These photos were taken on Thursday 29th April 2018 and show the procession of the Cofradía del Cristo de la Encrucijada y María Santísima de las Lágrimas.