Feb 28 , 2011
Yesterday we attended our first Sunday Mass away from home. Like many other things in Central America, it is a unique experience for us, people from colder parts of the world.
I already had somewhat similar experience by visiting a few latino churches in US, yet here we experienced it all as a family and in full original version. Here are a few observations:
- religious songs are sung generally in a very joyful and dancing way, e.g Gloria was sung in three different rythyms, waltz, polka and merengue. The song during the Eucharist sounded definitely like a Cha, Cha.
Besides, everybody was singing and during chorus sections of each song there was universal clapping.Our kids were taken aback at first wondering for the first 15 minutes if they were really in a church. Big Ania was moved seeing others so emotional about meeting God.
- For “Sign of Peace”, generally all the congragation for about 5 minutes, including the priest, walked around the whole church hugging and kissing each other.
- because of scorching heat (around 33 Celsius) the church was full of working fans of different kinds
- the people serving during the Mass are 100% female – i.e. altar girls
- one more nice custom, which is also widely practiced in the US, i.e. inviting people cebrating their birthdays during the following week in front of the alter and singing a song for them by the whole congragation
Overall, two dominant descriptors of the experience were Joy and Heat.
I am looking forward to experiencing more of such a spirituality during the next 3 months in Latin America.