Along the Natchez Trace

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mass Confusion

Hola!  Happy Easter!  It's a beautiful day here in Cuidad Colon.  I wanted to go to mass at the church which is located at the plaza in town.  I'd checked earlier this week to find out the time, and was shown a church bulletin  that gave the time as 9:30am today.

Bill & I walked into town a bit early...  Bill was going to wander around the plaza while I went to mass.   Of course I was the first one there...  and it's a BIG church.  As time went on, more people arrived.  Some stayed only a few minutes and then left.  

It got to be nearly 9:30...  there were probably maybe seventy-five of us in all...  the church was nearly empty.  A man came in and announced something....  I don't speak Spanish, but sure got the picture that mass was not going to be said here.

A man a couple of rows ahead of me gestured to me that we'd all be going to a different location.  I followed the crowd.  I found a young woman who spoke enough English for me to understand that mass was being said up near the library.  Well, I knew where the library was, and sure enough...   there was an outdoor mass being celebrated at that location.

Actually the congregation was all standing in the streets...  but I could see a make-shift altar in the background. You really don't need to know Spanish to attend mass...  most people my age learned the mass in Latin anyway, so you know what's going on.  

But there were lots of people in "costume"....  dressed like people in Biblical days...  even "angels" and the such.  After the blessing, mass is over.   I can tell that there's more going on, but since I'm already more than a half hour later than I expected to be, I decide to head back to the town square to find Bill.

I explain to him why I'm coming from a totally different direction than the church...  we head over to the grocery store to pick up some stuff before heading home.

Just as we're leaving the store, Bill notices the parade...  coming down from where mass was celebrated...

 The parade was led by these men and boys...
 The umbrellas aren't because of rain.....  many people use them as "parasols" to keep the sun off.
 Even young boys were walking along....
 Young women an older teen-age girls...  all carrying bouquets of flowers...
 And...  the littlest angel...
 Aren't these little girls just precious?
 These people looked like church members who "do" something...  readers, religion education, ????
 And here's the priest...  carrying the tabernacle or chalice....  (there was even a person with incense in the lead)...
 Looks like he's being preceded by an angel....
Led by the parade of angels and saints...  and I'm not sure what kind of dignitaries...  I believe the whole congregation walked the priest with the chalice and other mass "components" back to the big church....  possibly for another kind of service.

Last year we were in Spain and saw a very similar parade.  But I was thinking that was on Palm Sunday.  I don't know much about the customs here, but was happy to be a part of this Easter Service.................
despite my confusion...  and nearly missing it all.

That's All For Today....


  1. What a fantastic experience for you at Easter. I'd like that too.

  2. You got the full meal deal there!! In any language, Easter service is just as special.

  3. Happy Easter! Beautiful day and experience! Next year, you'll be in costume, too!

  4. Great blog. It's gratifying to see so many young folks still carrying on these old traditions and not just sitting around heads down into their smartphones!

  5. Your photos are great. They are in such contrast to those on the "mitchell is moving" blog of the pageants in Sevilla Spain. The costumes and processions there are quite elaborate and even weird. The processions you show are so much more meaningful!
    (You can take a look on