Good Friday Processions Malta 2020

The Most Spiritual Holiday of the Year

Good Friday processions Malta have been held since as early as the 16th century. The passion of Christ is carried on a procession of statues symbolising the sacrifice Jesus had to bear to sacrifice His life for all. This day is celebrated as a commemoration when Jesus Christ died on the cross.

Malta commemorates Good Friday every year. It remains a prestigious days for the population. It is a time of reflection about the suffering of Jesus.

Good Friday is celebrated in the churches around the islands with an afternoon service. Afterwards processions are held in various villages with life-size statues. They are taken out from the parish church in a procession around the village streets.

Statues depicting when Simon helped Jesus carry the cross

Every statue represents an actual episode during the Passion of the Christ. Each statue, depending on the size, is carried by a group of bearers from 6 to 10 men.

The following procession schedule is based on 2019. Schedule updated around March 2020. The schedule will most likely be the same as 2019 but some times might differ.

Good Friday Processions Malta 2020
Good Friday Processions Malta 2020

Sunday 5th April - Palm Sunday

The following two villages hold their Good Friday Processions the Sunday before Good Friday which is Palm Sunday.

Villages

Ghaxaq

*Gharghur

Time

17:30

16:30

Villages - Time

  • Ghaxaq - 17:30
  • *Gharghur - 16:30

*A two-act production in combination with the traditional Good Friday procession.

Friday 10th April - Good Friday

To see the procession route on Google Maps click the village in the orange colour.

Villages

Birgu - Vittoriosa

Bormla - Cospicua

Isla - Senglea

Luqa

Mosta

Naxxar

Paola

Rabat

Zebbug

Time

18:00

17:30

17:30

17:30

17:30

17:30

17:30

17:30

18:00

18:00

17:30

17:00

Villages - Time

  • Birgu - Vittoriosa - 18:00 
  • Bormla - Cospicua - 17:30
  • Isla - Senglea - 17:30
  • Luqa - 17:30
  • Mosta - 17:30
  • Naxxar - 17:30
  • Paola - 17:30
  • Qormi - San Ġorġ - 17:30
  • Rabat - 18:00
  • Valletta - 18:00
  • Zebbug - 17:30
  • Zejtun - 17:00
Gozo Good Friday Processions
Gozo Good Friday Processions

Sunday 5th April - Palm Sunday

Villages

Qala

Rabat Katidral

Time

18:00

18:00

Villages - Time

  • Qala - 18:30
  • Rabat Katidral - 18:00

Friday 10th April - Good Friday

Villages

Citadella Cathedral, Victoria

Rabat - San Gorg

Nadur

Xaghra

Zebbug

Time

18:00

18:00

18:00

18:00

18:00

Villages - Time

  • Citadella Cathedral, Victoria - 18:00
  • Rabat - San Gorg - 18:00
  • Nadur - 18:00
  • Xaghra - 18:00
  • Zebbug - 18:00

Click here to see the Easter Sunday procession list with the Risen Christ.

Procession Route Round the Villages
Procession Route Round the Villages

Zejtun Procession

The Good Friday Zejtun procession starts at 17:00 and finishes at 22:30.

- It takes around 1 hour 30 minutes for all the procession to exit the church.
- After going round all the streets, the procession starts to enter the church at around 21:30.

The Zejtun Good Friday procession walks through the following streets:

- Exit St. Catherine's Church
- Goes down Bon Kunsill
- Turns right on San Girgor Street
- Goes down Santu Wistin Street
- Turns on Sant Antnin Street
- Keeps straights onto Bugharbiel Street
- Turns right on Felicia Abela Street
- Goes down G. Curmi Street
- Takes a right onto L-Isqof Emmanuel Galea Street
- Left on San Girgor Street
- Right on Beland Street
- Right on Luqa Briffa Street (St. Thomas More College Zejtun)
- Left on Santa Marija Street
- Turn right on St. Mary's Church
- Right on St. Paul's Street
- Passes Misrah Karlu Diacono
- Goes up Bon Kunsill Street
- Passes Misrah Gregorio Bonici
- Enters back in St. Catherine's Church

Valletta Good Friday Procession Malta

- It starts at 18:00
- The procession takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

- It takes around 1 hour 30 minutes for all the procession to exit the church.

The route it take is as follows:

- Starts from Ta' Giezu church in San Gwann Street
- Left on St. Ursola Street
- Left on Archbishop Street
- Left on Merchant Street
- Left on Melita Street
- Left on St. Paul’s Street
- Right on St. Lucy’s Street

Qormi San Gorg Good Friday Procession

- The procession starts at 17:30

- Walk down Triq il-Kbira
- Right on Pjazza San Frangisk
- Straight on Santa Katarina Street
- Right on Pinto Street
- Left on Dun Gwakkin Schembri Street
- Left on Il-Vitorja Street
- Left on Anici Street
- Left on Triq Il-Kbira heading back to the church

For a better look at the route, see the map below.

Things You Should Know For This Special Day
Things You Should Know For This Special Day

- Up to some years ago everything used to stop, cinemas closed, restaurants, radio stations used to play selected music, but today you find that cinemas are open, you will find opened restaurants. All theatres will be closed. This is also positive for those who are not religious and have the right to the usual entertainment.

- All tourist accommodations are business as usual including Malta International Airport, all public transport, taxis, tours and the hop-on hop-off buses.

- It is officially a public holiday.

- Government departments, businesses and schools are closed on this day.

- The Gozo ferry that operates between the islands operates its normal schedule and more probably it will be enhanced with the number of trips due to the large number of Maltese that visit Gozo all through the weekend.

Things You Can Do On This Day
Things You Can Do On This Day

- If you wish to say prayers in front of the Holy Eucharist you can do so at the church side altars or in a separate area beside the church. This will start on the night of Maundy Thursday 08:00 to 11:00 and Good Friday morning from 07:00 to 12:00. They are extraordinarily decorated with white flowers and church décor.

- You find exhibitions in all towns and villages. We suggest that you visit the village core surround the parish church and their you will surely find a few exhibitions to visit.Tthese are usually open from Maundy Thursday around 20:00 to Good Friday 13:00.   

- Some of the exhibitions will be located around the parish church surrounding. So it will be easy to locate.

- In the afternoon you can attend to one of the processions. Click here to look at the list of villages and towns.

Things to know if you intend visiting

- There are some processions that take place the Sunday before and different times of starting.

- All processions start and end from the main parish church.

- Most processions take at least an hour to exit the church due to the number of statues and the many villagers participating within.

- There are those which take almost two hours to exit the church like that of Zejtun.

- All procession are beautiful to see. The most popular are those of Zejtun, Mosta and Qormi.

- Important to take with you a camera as this experience is unique. You have to go to other countries to see similar processions but every country has its own characteristics.

- There are villages which offer chairs as seating against a charge to see the procession. These are always located close to the centre close to the church. You can have a seat available if you book the Zejtun tour.

How to Get To The Processions
How to Get To The Processions

- If you have a rented car, parking might be difficult since the main streets leading to the centre will be closed due to the procession. Also many Maltese visit these processions. You have to look around the nearby streets.

- You can also use the public transport, plan your route and leave your accommodation enough time before to arrive in time. Always ask for the last bus leaving the village back to the Valletta terminus.

- You can always call a taxi and it will take you directly to the village or closest to the village core.

Use the map below to know which villages do the processions.

Good Friday Functions & Processions Live on Television
Good Friday Functions & Processions Live on Television

The following live transmissions are of 2019. They will be updated when the schedule come out close to the actual dates in 2020

- Net TV: Function of the Adoration of the Cross at 15:00. Procession from the Bazilika ta Marija Assunta at Mosta at 17:30

- One TV: Function of the Adoration of the Cross at 15:30. Procession from the parish church of Santa Marija, Hal-Ghaxaq at 17:30

- TVM: Function of the Adoration of the Cross at 15:00. Procession from the Bazilika ta'Marija Bambina at Xaghra at 17:45

Meditations for Good Friday | Via Crucis
Meditations for Good Friday | Via Crucis

The Way Of The Cross is held at the Colosseum in Rome live ever Good Friday and transmitted world wide.

Maltese Channels

- One TV: 21:00 - 22:30
- Net TV: 21:15 - 22:30
- TVM 2: 21:15 - 23:00

International Channels

- RAI 1: 21:00 - 22:35
- EWTN: 21:15 - 22:45
- TV 2000: 21:15 - 23:00

Good Friday Tour in Zejtun
Good Friday Tour in Zejtun

- If you are planning to go to the Zejtun procession on Good Friday, you can do so by taking a tour.

- This is a well worthed tour as you will have a booked seat to enjoy the procession.

What to expect about this tour

- Have a perfect seat in front of the procession.
- See the life size procession exiting the church.
- Experience the Maltese atmosphere while the procession is going along.

Date: Friday 10th April 2020
Time: 14:15
Price: €20
Language: English

What is Included with the price

- Guided Tour
- Transport
- A reserved chair close to the church from where the procession starts.

Pick-up times in various locations around the island:

- Cirkewwa and Mellieha Area – 14:30
- Golden Bay (At the Apple's Eye restaurant near the bus stop called Ferh) – 14:45
- Bugibba & St. Julian's Area – 15:00
- Sliema Area – 15:15
- Valletta Area – 15:30
- Attard Area – 15:45

If you will be geting to the tour on your own, this is the meeting point

Book your positions before no available seats are left.

Information about Good Friday Traditions
Information about Good Friday Traditions

Participants

Men, women and children participate wearing a variety of costumes such as Roman soldiers and Biblical characters. They walk in between the statues representing a different stage of the passion. 

Hundreds of people from every village participate with such a sincere devotion and dedication from young ones to old persons who would have participated all through their life from year to year.

Brass bands

The village brass bands participate throughout the procession by playing solemn music written purposely for the occasion. It is to be noted that these marches are very popular with the locals.

Good Friday procession in Valletta

Church bells and rattle

From the church bells that usually are played during every day of the year to the unusual sound of the cuqlajta (rattle) as a sign of mourning is played from Maundy Thursday till Saturday evening before the Easter church mass is celebrated. For Maundy Thursday village celebration church times click here.

The Local People

Many locals are drawn to go and see the processions of their own village or to another village. They return to see the procession passing through one of the streets. It gives a lovely and definite history of Malta and its values and also has various medieval traditions.

Many foreigners come during Holy Week for their holiday to participate and enjoy the cultural attractiveness of these religious activities. They are provided with pre-paid chairs in the first part of the procession when coming out of the church.

Statue - Jesus carrying the Cross during Good Friday procession in Valletta

The First Processions

The idea behind the processions in Malta started from the Sicilian and Spanish influences. The first procession in Malta started in early 16th century to dress up in traditional costumes first in Rabat followed then in Valletta.

During the 18th century baptized slaves and condemned persons participated through the procession as a penance to walking during the procession dragging chains tied to their bare feet as an act of faith or penance.

Other countries hold traditional celebrations similar to ours, from Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippine.

Questions About Good Friday
Questions About Good Friday

For 2020, Good Friday will be held on the 10th April 2020. Good Friday is always celebrated two days before Easter Sunday or as some say, the Friday before Easter.

For Christians, Good Friday is one of the most significant days of the year since it celebrates the death of Jesus. On this day we remember the suffering Jesus did while being crucified on the cross.

It is the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a day of fasting and penance.