Let’s backtrack a bit. Did I do a 7 Quick Takes last Friday? No, I don’t think so, considering it was Good Friday and all. So maybe I should go back over the liturgies of the week…
All were at the Cathedral this year. I usually try to hit Casa Maria on feastdays – it’s less crowded and the music is profound and simple, if you get my drift, but I felt drawn to try the Vigil at the Cathedral. Perhaps I needed to see some new Catholics happen.
We went to Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil at St. Paul’s. The church was almost full – although not packed – at both Masses. There is a certain proportion of people in this area that professes great fear and horror at the idea of leaving the hilly suburbs and going downtown after dark. Their loss. The music – as it always is now – was great. Chant in English and Latin, polyphany, some hymns, the propers – completely with the mind of the Church. If you want to get a sense of it, just read the mission statement here.
As always at these very “thick” liturgies, I am struck by how the work is dispersed. Between a bishop, priest concelebrants, two deacons, lots of servers, lectors, choir, and of course the congregation…all gathered in a space rich with iconography and symbolism – the attention is never thrust on just one individual holding forth in a relatively bare sanctuary. Ironic, really, when you consider the unintended consequences of stripping things down so we’d never forget that we are the Church – we spend an hour watching and listening to one ordained guy talk at us. Huh.
For Good Friday, we went to another parish in which the Hispanic community was offering a Living Stations. We had attended something similar up in Indiana several times. It was a little different up there because the Indiana parish was in a neighborhood, so the Stations procession moved on the streets, with people looking out from their windows and standing on their front porches as we went by. This parish is in a slightly more suburbany-commercial area, so the procession walked on the very substantial grounds of the parish, but it was still effective.
It began indoors with a prayer of some sort I didn’t recognize (it was in Spanish, remember!) and then a presentation of the arrest and trial of Jesus before moving outside for the Stations themselves. Prayers, music, solemn faces, scampering kids, all following Jesus.
I finished Gringos – finally. I liked it a lot. It was an atmospheric read, and while I had thought I might read it before we went to Mexico, of course, I didn’t, and I’m glad. Although much of the action takes place in an area we didn’t see – around Palenque – the parts that occurred in Merida and other spots in the Yucatan were a lot more vivid to me having been there. It was one of those books that I’m going to have to reread, since I entered into it thinking it was going to be one thing – sort of a madcap expat adventure – and ended up being something slightly different – a melancholy expat adventure. I need to give it another runthrough, without my expecations – sort of like an episode of Mad Men.
Speaking of which, as aggravated as the show makes me, I can’t deny I’m enjoying being immersed in that world again.
We got a little crafty, and attempted Pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs. It was a challenge, and we’re not done – after all, Easter lasts fifty days, right?
It takes a while, and we have a lot to learn, and the mess is still all over the kitchen table, but because it involved fire and hot wax, the boys were intrigued and willing.
I mentioned before that when I was in Mexico, I was taken with the ubiquitous condiment: the pickled onion I determined I would make some, and indeed I did, following this recipe.
But why? They look fine, don’t they? What was the problem? They were just so….strong and weird-tasting. Inedible.
What, what, what had I done? I was going to write to the proprietor of one of our B & B’s asking for her recipe. I just couldn’t figure it out.
But then I considered the vinegar I’d used. I considered it again.
How about next time….
DON’T USE DISTILLED VINEGAR IN YOUR COOKING.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!