The end of the procession was noteworthy, I'm just not sure exactly what it was. If one of you know what the symbolism is, I'd love to hear from you.
It took about an hour for the procession to return to the church. I don't know their full route, and I kind of wish I had stuck it out so I could tell you. I am really glad I was able to watch the end of it from our balcony.
Here's what happened (recorded below):
This first video shows the cross being carried up the stairs, followed by the bier. The church's sound system was malfunctioning a bit, but you could easily hear what the guys carrying the bier were saying. I can't translate for you, but it's probably similar to what people everywhere say when they're carrying something large, heavy, and precious as a group.
This second video was started about a minute after the first ended. The bier is at the top of the stairs in front of the church doors. The outside lights were shut off, so the whole church was in darkness. This is the part of the service that I can't explain to you yet. One of the priests was yelling, and another was responding. Then, as the first priest was yelling, he started pounding on the door. They went back and forth for a bit, then the doors were flung open, and the lights turned on. I'm having a hard time finding the symbolism behind the knocking and opening of the doors. I could conjecture, but I'd probably be wrong. I'll do more research tomorrow, but, again, if you know and can tell me, please do.
After the doors were flung open, the people walked into the front doors of the church underneath the bier, and then exited through the side door. I know the symbolism of this--it represents entering the tomb with Christ. Everything is quiet now. The bier is inside the church again, in the same place as this morning. Only a few people are still milling around.
Tomorrow will be less eventful during the day. Phil and I have to attend a function for our actual church, but will be home in time for the big celebration. I'll be sure to keep you updated.