Capas Magnas- The Procession of tails

A unique ritual is held at Se Cathedral, Old Goa on every Good Friday and known as ‘Capas Magnas’ or Shepdyanche Pursanv (Procession of tails). The procession is called ‘Shepdyanche Pursanv’ as the trailing end of the cloak resembles a tail (shepdi). This unique procession has been held in the Se Cathedral from the sixteenth century.

This procession is held in locations where the Cathedral Chapters still exits. The Cathedral Chapters is an organization of clergies which comprises of ‘Canons’– who are the advisors to the Archbishop. Earlier this institution was called as the ‘Cabido’ and the Canons were called as ‘Conegos’.

Initially there were 32 canons who were advisors to the Archbishop of Goa and their jurisdiction ranged from South Africa to Japan. Presently there are only 5 canons who reside at the Se Cathedral in the Archiepiscopal Palace– the first palace of the Archbishop of Goa, which dates back to 1535.

On the day of Good Friday during the procession the Canons are seen dressed up with special black cassocks, which has a hood and a long trail and portrays the state of mourning.

(The liturgical service at Se Cathedral, Old Goa starts at 3.00 pm, which is officiated and presided by the Archbishop of Goa and is followed by the ‘Capas Magnas’ procession.)