Just as Mardi Gras has its krewes, Semana Santa in Spain has its hermandades and cofradías. Members of these brotherhoods or confraternities, called Nazarenos, sponsor the Holy Week processions, and they wear the iconic pointy hoods (capirotes) as a sign of penance.
What I like about these pasos is that they are a sign of pilgrimage as are the entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday, and the Via Crucis on Good Friday. Throughout Lent we strive for metanoia, a true conversion, but the process, as you know, involves much suffering because it is a dying to self.
Thus, we walk as penitential sons and daughters with our Lord, bearing our crosses to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. This interior reality actually plays out on the streets and plazas of Spain where we walk with Jesus and His Sorrowful Mother, journeying with them to the cross and the grave, which in a few days time, will be found empty.
Also, the Nazarenos have been wearing the pointed hood long before the KKK made it a sign of prejudice and violence in the United States.
[Photos: I didn’t take them, though I wish I did]