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The monument remains bare until Holy Wednesday when a powerful priest-shaman carries the image of a carved wooden image called Mam (meaning "grandfather, or ancient one") to a domed sanctuary adjacent to the church plaza. There he is placed in the branches of a tree and given copious offerings of liquor, cigars, incense, fruit, and money. The Mam figure symbolically oversees the death of Christ and his descent into the underworld. In this role he is sometimes addressed as Judas Iscariot or Pedro de Alvarado, both archetypal god-destroyers. For most Atitecos, however, he is simply addressed as Mam ("grandfather" or "ancient one"), because he is believed to be older than Christ and the saints having been born before the first dawn. Tz'utujils believe that for Jesus Christ to be renewed, he must undergo sacrificial death.

The Mam in his shrine on the church plaza.