Friday, May 20, 2016

Talk Church-y to Me

     One of the most beautiful things about the Mass is that it is the same in every language across the worldwide Catholic population. With this in mind, I attempted to follow the flowing romance language that accompanied the parts of mass I've come to know well, while also attempting to follow the standing, sitting, and kneeling of Peruvians around me.
     Sadly there were too many differences in translation for me to say anything except "y con tu espíritu" and start the "nuestro Padre" only for Profe. to correct me that it is "Padre nuestro." Another line that stood out as different in translation was that in English we say "it is right and just," where the Peruvians said "es justo y necesario," which has a slightly different meaning.
      As it was a Monday evening service at 6 PM in La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús (a Jesuit church) in La Plaza de Armas here in Cusco, the turnout was not very high for such a large Cathedral. However, there was still an array of ages in the church, and most people were dressed very casually, though the priest was in his vestments that looked the same as any in the US. People offered one another the sign of peace with either a handshake or hug as at any other mass, but there was none of the music or chanting I was used to, and it ended up being the shortest mass I've ever been to, clocking in at almost exactly 30 minutes.
     In comparison, last night we briefly popped into a (what Profe. called) "peasants' mass" in Pisac and got to hear festive singing as part of the service. This is from the mix of Catholic layered on top of the old Quechua rituals, keeping some of that celebratory aspect where Catholic masses are usually drier.
     The main thing I've learned from attending mass here though is that I really need to look up the order of mass in Spanish before I go again, because it's very awkward when you're sitting in the second row with Profe. and Alejandra on either side reciting everything word for word in perfect Spanish. Amen.

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