Siento, siento una nostalgia de algo que me falta desde que nací.
I feel, I feel nostalgia for something that I’ve been missing since I was born.
I've always liked Good Friday services. I like their solemnity and reflection and confession. I like their dimmed lights and muted volumes. I like that, since everyone knows Sunday is coming, we don't have to wrap the sorrow up at the end with a neat little bow of happiness. That we can just leave the sentence unfinished and unsure for a couple days.In the states, Good Friday and Easter are really the only two things we celebrate this week (Or at least, protestants. I don't know about Catholics. And really, I'm not even sure you could say we "celebrate" Good Friday. Yes, there's a service, but even a regular church-goer could legitimately be like "Oh, is that today? Hmmm, I guess I'll go."
But here, it's a big deal. They celebrate the whole week, la Semana Santa. And Friday is a big one. I mean, businesses shutting down, streets empty kind of big.
So I decided to go with my host Mom to her Friday mass, which I was promised would include a procession afterward. Having never before been to a Catholic mass here, I'm quite glad I did, because the whole thing was just extremely interesting.
I'm having trouble pinning down one main, connected thought, however, so here are some random ones:
From the service:
1) The three priests are all white with pronounced Spanish accents. I asked my host Mom about it, and she said they were all sent here. They used to have one Peruvian priest, but he was sent to Cusco.
2) There's an incredible amount of older women here.
From the procession:
3) I love these bags to light our way. Oh, wow, real candle in there. That seems safe.
4) How nice to pray for different people at each station! But... "For the women are hit because their husband comes home drunk, but keep moving forward for the sake of the children." Shouldn't that at least say something like "And feel like they have no escape and must stay for the children" ? You know, with the implication that that's wrong?
5) I think I'll organize a police squad to block traffic next time I cross La Mar.
6) Station 8a...Jesus falls a third time? Darn it, this is not going to end in 10 stations like I thought,
7) What a beautiful flower petal arrangement!...that will now be trampled as we pass.
So obviously the night was a mixed bag. (What service isn't, I ask?) But as I processed along slowly, repeating the refrains to the songs we sang, I felt this overwhelming sense of community.
And a wave of sadness hit me that I will soon leave, and life here will go on with lovely, tiring, living traditions that I'll know nothing about.
Llaga, soy solo una llaga que tán solo al verte cicatricará.
Wound, I’m just a wound, that just to see you will scar.
Río, soy un río turbio, y Tú un mar inmenso. Guíame hacia Ti.
River, I’m a turbid river, and you’re an immense ocean. Guide me toward you.