Though they were undoubtedly present in the past, children played a marginal role in the Good Friday procession that, for decorum and soberness, was considered an event intended especially for adults.
After the Servants of Mary and the Capuchin friars were expelled, and the number of members of the confraternities diminished, in order to be able to display all the over 300 lamps, the presence of angels and damsels attired in white has steadily increased, exceeding 500 units. Today the cloaks worn by some girls over the white robe recall the colours of the two historical confraternities of Mendrisio, namely red for the Blessed Sacrament and blue for the Rosary (called "celesta").
The angels were entrusted the task of supporting the horizontal cross, which was already present and carried by children in the 18th century “Plan.” The cross was joined by a cloth symbolising the Shroud, called “The Large One” to distinguish it from the cloth with the image of Jesus' face displayed by Veronica during the procession of Holy Thursday, which has been, at times, wrongly identified as the "Shroud," namely the burial cloth used to wrap the body of Christ (which the Evangelist John calls "othonia").
Perhaps the second series of smaller objects of the Passion that were entrusted to children were added in the late 19th century. They followed the statue of the Dead Christ (instead the “Large Passion” of the Capuchin friars filed third place, after the Confraternities that opened the procession).
Now these emblems are carried by damsels attired in white who walk before the statue.