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Sacraments Procession, Tirol - photo story

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 5, 2012, 2:55 AM


Sacraments Procession
Elbigenalp, Tirol, Austria
June 17, 2012


Photostory made during our Vacation in Tirol
Austria, Lechtall, Elbigenalp
Photojournalism - photo-reportage, documentary - street photography



I am very happy to be able to present to you this photo reportage about the Sacraments Procession, as I was able to see and photograph it during our vacation in Tirol, Austria, June 17, 2012.
It has taking me some time to prepare and upload all these pictures, and I really want to thank all my friends and watchers for their patience as they saw the images drop in their mail boxes with handsful at a time, over the past two weeks. And also, thanks for the encouraging comments and some fav's along the way.

Here is the full story, as a whole... :)


Sacraments Procession - General info

NOTE: all external links refer to a Wikipedia page

"A Sacraments procession is a devotional procession in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, ( and as I learned some other denominations like the Free Catholic Church in the Netherlands ) - in which the Blessed Sacrament  in a Monstrance in a solemn manner is carried by a priest through the streets of a town or village.
Usually, the Sacraments Processions go out on Sacraments Day. For this occasion, the priest is wearing the Cope, a specific liturgical vestment, and walks under a Baldachin " (Partially translated from the Dutch Wikipedia)

Preliminary to the procession, there is a solemn Eucharist in the church. Sometimes, this Eucharist also can be held outside.

During the procession, traditionally, the Priest with the Holy Sacrament is preceded by the acolytes , carrying the cross and some candles. Then follow the marching band and several groups of the village/town, in their best uniforms or traditional dresses. Often, representatives of these groups are carrying some of the statues of saints and other religious symbols important to that community. The procession can be followed by a (large) group of villagers in prayer (anybody can follow).
During the procession, the rosary is prayed, and religious songs are sung, accompanied by the marching band. There are several stopping places along the route, where the Blessed Sacrament is put down on a table or some kind of 'altar', and other traditional prayers are said, including a reading from the bible. At each stopping place, the people participating in the procession, including all bystanders and watchers, are blessed by the priest holding the Blessed Sacrament. This also can be combined with a blessing of the houses and fields.

A beautiful illustration of this old religious tradition is the painting Artesië by Jules Breton, 1857

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We happened to have arrived on our vacation address in Elbigenalp, Tirol, just the day before the Sacraments procession would be held here.
So we were happy to have this occasion to see how the local people still participate in large numbers in this yearly repeated event, definitely a remarkable combination of culture, tradition, religion and devotion, and touristic attraction...

Thank you for having a look! I hope you enjoy this photo reportage as much as I did making it.
If you like, please also fav :+fav: , so that more people may get to see it. Thank you!



"Do you see them come?"
A local family in traditional dress, waiting outside the church for the marching band to arrive

Music band marching in
They have been marching through the village already, followed by some of the groups that will join in the procession -
probably to bring the community together to the church, for the Eucharist (see also general info above)
Note the ladies in front, carrying a little barrel with schnapps - They also both are holding some schnapps glasses ;)

Music band marching in 2 by steppeland Women group in traditional dress by steppeland

Below: People and groups entering the church

All to church by steppeland Greeting while entering the church by steppeland
On his mom's hand by steppeland
Black velvet hats and rosaries by steppeland Beautiful dresses, beautiful faces... by steppeland Archers or hunters guild by steppeland

The lady with the schnapss barrel

Altar-table outside the church by steppeland Wooden angles sculpture on altar table by steppeland
Angel face - sculture close-up 1 by steppeland Angel face - sculture close-up 2 by steppeland

Above: Outside the church, a little Altar table with angels sculpture
is waiting till the people leave the church after the Eucharist.
This table will be carried along during the procession,
and at the stopping placed the Monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament
will be placed on the sculpture.
This area in Tirol is know for its amazingly beautiful wood carvings.
The Technical College for woodcarving, sign painting and guilding in Elbigenalp,
is unique of its kind as it is the only one in western Austria.
So it's quite likely that this too would be a local artwork (my guess, not confirmed)

Last instructions
Musicians of the marching band, gathering after the Eucharist.
A young musician receives some last instructions before the procession is building up.

We'll walk in front by steppeland Checking her nails by steppeland
We'll walk in front __________ Checking her nails

Last sip of the pipe
Trumpettist, just before the procession sets off.

Above: Some candid street shots of the participants,
as they are gathering after the Eucharist, before the procession starts.

Below: Then the procession starts moving

Procession starts moving by steppeland Carriers of the angles-statue by steppeland   Women carrieing 'Little Child Jesus' statue by steppeland

Priest with blessed sacrament by steppeland
Priest with blessed sacrament
Under the baldachin, the priest with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance.

Womengroup carrying the St. Mary icon and flag -BW

Ladies with st. Mary painting by steppeland
Ladies in beautiful traditional dresses by steppeland People following the procession by steppeland Downhill it goes by steppeland At the far corner, first stopping place by steppeland

Above: Then it goes downhill, into the fields and grasslands of the valley, towards the first stopping place...

Sacraments procession Elbigenalp from a distance - panorama

Coming back through the hay-lands by steppeland Procession in a mountain landscape by steppeland The holy cross at the corner - third stop by steppeland

Above : Procession, headed by the acolytes,
coming back through the hay-lands surrounding the village,
towards the third stopping place

Below: Priest holding the blessed sacrament, arriving at the cross at the corner,
where the third stop of the procession is being prepared.
Then: Arrival of the women group.

Priest arriving at the cross by steppeland

Women group with Mary icon approaching by steppeland

Above: At the third stopping place, near the holy cross at the crossroads :
Priest in front of the blessed sacrament, that is now placed on the altar table with angles statues.
For the third time the priest is performing the ritual prayers and reading from the Bible.

Groups in position at third stop by steppeland Salute during the blessing by steppeland Preparing the rifles by steppeland

Above: At the third stopping place, near the holy cross at the crossroads :
the different groups have taken their position around the altar table and the blessed sacrament, and participate in the prayers.

As the priest is holding the blessed sacrament to bless people and place, the archers or hunters guild stand and salute.

Then, at the closure of the prayer at the stopping place, they preparing their rifles for the volley shot in the air.

Volley shot of honour
Archers or hunters guild shooting in the air, as a sign of respect:  the volley shot of honour

Moving on... by steppeland

On the way back by steppeland

Above: Moving on for the last part of the route, on their way back towards the church

Return and final rituals at the church square by steppeland Ready for the final salvo by steppeland

Above: At the end the procession, followers and onlookers return at the church square,
were the different groups once more stand in formation and perform their last prayers and final rituals.
The music band closes the event with some beautiful religious and traditional music.


:bulletblue::bulletblue::bulletblue:For every single :+fav: : Thank you!:bulletblue::bulletblue::bulletblue:

Thank you so very much to each and everyone for the many, many :+fav:'s, comments, features and signs of support I receive for my work. It truly isn't possible for me any more to thank you personally for every single fav, but I will continue to do effort to reply to every comment. I just have to make choices, and prefer to put my time in preparing and uploading more pics for you to enjoy, and to visit some of my friends' galleries and comment on their work too.
However, I cannot say enough how much all your support means to me, so to each of you who faved, commented or featured my work:

:iconnntr: nntr: no need to reply stamp by 1footonthedawn :iconnntr:

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August 5, 2012


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