Monday, July 9, 2007

The Church is Full

Photos: 1- the parish priest blowing his candles 2- the packed church 3- the altar girls and boys

A big event in the parish, the parish priest turned 70 years old this month. Although as I have said, we regularly attend the mini-church with the Protestant; this is a must attend mass (aside from Christmas and New Year's Eve and Easter). I even volunteered to bake a cake for the day's noon time feast.

Nope, I didnt ask my husband. He simply took it for granted that the whole family would be joining the mass and the celebration afterwards. He already knows. As for the kids, who are not used to staying for the whole mass, we agreed to let them bring their Barbie's -- as long as the Barbie's would keep quiet the whole time. Both said that the Barbie's know this already, ahh!

We left for the 10 min walk to the church at 10:00 am. The service would start at 10:30 am -- but the church is already packed. We managed to grab a seat in the back; the kids must sit on out laps though. I am happy to see that the church is full. This is not something that you would see during regular masses. And I noted that the whole Protestant council is there, and some prominent politicians, too.

Then I noticed, the altar helpers consist not only of boys but also girls, hmm -- that's a new tradition, huh. Of course, MC wanted to be one of them when she is bigger -- she liked the long red and white gowns that the altar boys and girls were wearing. And since these church helpers also acted as collectors; that intrigued here more. I had to explain that the money is for the church.

Another thing that I noticed is that they have the hosts placed in a small basket on both entrances of the church -- and the people who wanted to partake of the Holy communion would
simply transfer the host to another container -- that way the church would know how many people would avail of the Holy Communion. That puzzled me when we first came in, but then the significance slowly dawned on me. Interesting, right?

The presence of the host, if a puzzle for me, was downright exciting for the kids. They thought that waffles are being offered in the church. I had to explain to MC (IC is simply not interested) that the host represents the body of Christ. That when you eat His bread, then we accept him in us -- body, mind and soul. I further explained that she must wait until she is 8 or 9 years old for her first communion. Her next question is typical 'how many more days must I sleep for that then?' I had to tell her that it would take 3-4 more years - a long, long time.

That the kids was silent during the two hours service was a surprise. Oh, they played quietly with their Barbies' alright. But they stayed put, not restless -- I guess this is something different for them, because their eyes are all over -- observing. We are really proud of them, and we told them so.

When the service was over, the crowd gathered at the back lawn of the church, for the celebration. There are programs for kids; and for the adults, too. The parish priest is happy - he got loads of his faves -- bottles of red wines and chocolates. We are happy to be there, too.

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