There is evidence that, since the 1750’s, the Good Friday procession was organized in Naxxar.
In fact, the pioneering work in papier-mâché in Malta, namely Saverio Laferla had worked a number of Statues for this Parish and by 1753, the amount of statues making part of the set had already risen to seven. These included the ‘Orchard’, the ‘Flagellation’ and the ‘Crucifixion’ still used today, the ‘Ecce Homo’, the ‘Redeemer’, the ‘Monument’ and ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’. At that time, the Procession was held on Maundy Thursday as was the custom in many other locations. Interestingly enough, even in the early stages, the procession included musicians playing the drums, flutes, and violins. Another custom in Naxxar was the burning of masks with each statue that comes out of the church during the procession. Accompanying the procession there would also be children carrying lanterns and torches, and penitents would cover their faces and drag chains.
In these first rituals, it was the following of Our Lady of Sorrows that organized the procession. It was also their endeavor to raise money to make new statues and other church decorations. With time, the organization of the procession was left to a specifically appointed church official. These officials works incessantly to increase the importance of the procession and above all to increase devotion in Holy Week.
Over the years, the procession continued to develop. The statues and decorations continued to be improved and replaced as necessary. The little group of musicians became a fully-fledged band. But the biggest change was made after the Second World War. Three statues have been changed and the ‘Betrayal of Judas’ was added in 1975. The representations of Biblical figures who take part in the procession continued to increase and today more than four hundred people take part in the pageant of the Passion.
It is worth mentioning that in Naxxar, one may still find a small museum containing original statues of master Saverio Laferla that are still exhibited and may be enjoyed by everyone.