Christmas traditions of Sardinia: the charming magic of the song of the Sibyl

the song of the Sibyl Alghero

In the picture, you can see the main altar of the Cathedral of Alghero: it is a group of sculptures depicting the Virgin Mary between angels. Every year, during Christmas night, along with many faithful, the sculptures can listen to one of the most fascinating traditions of this Sardinian city: the so-called Song of the Sibyl.

  • A Medieval chant. The Signum Judicii or Señal del Judici, commonly known as the song of the Sibyl, is a Medieval song that shows how deep is still today the connection between Alghero and Catalonia. It could be defined as a sort of Gregorian chant.
  • The Last Judgment. The song of the Sibyl is a Catalan-language liturgical drama. The text of the song, inspired by the Dies irae, compose a prophecy describing the Apocalypse and the judgment seat of Christ in the valley of Josaphat: this is the valley where, according to the Bible, the Last Judgment will take place.
  • The sword and the sceptre. In the past, there was a very special custom that took place during the ceremony: there were two altar boys, the first holding a sword (symbol of divine justice) and the other holding a sceptre (the symbol of the Chapter authority). Today, it has fallen into disuse.

The song of the Sibyl is one of the most peculiar Christmas traditions in Sardinia. An indispensable tradition for the people of Alghero. And it will enrich your trip.

 

Image source: Di Enfo – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34593796

Related articles