Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Upside down Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Holy Week in the US, in my experience, is 90% adults and maybe 10% children.  Usually the children under 15 or so mostly squirm, daydream or keep their parents busy keeping them quiet.  Here, however, Semana Santa is 90% kids and 10% adults -- an upside down congregation!  Not only are the services mostly children, the children do almost everything in the service!  Suzy is the leader of course but the kids do everything else.  (The 10% of adults are well behaved I must say.)  It is quite a scene to worship and move through Holy Week with 64 children.  It is very different than a typical children's service or family service in the US.  (Confessional moment - those often seem like chaos to me not worship.)  No, here being surrounded by children, these children, is profound.  Truly a worshipful, Holy week.   Join me in this week.
Domingo de Ramos, or Palm Sunday

Preparing for the procession
The procession
Sergio, as Jesus, prays while the disciples sleep
Pontius Pilate
Jesus on the cross

Maundy Thursday - Footwashing (Lavado de los Pies) 

Yahaira sings from her heart
Suzy reads the Gospel
Wendy in prayer
Marvin washes his sister, Marjeli's, feet (When he took her by the hand, I burst into tears)
Friends, brothers in Christ
Co-workers for Christ
Evelyn, Dir.of Finance, washes feet of Merlyn, Dir. of Safe House
Congestion at the foot washing stations!  We had to add two more plus this one was a twofer!
Sweet Elsa washes Carmen's feet
Suzy washes Lester Alexander's feet. Pray someone washed his mother, Jasmin's feet.
Praying over and washing Gina's feet - Lord, help her grow into the woman you would have her be
Arely assists with Eucharist
Stripping the altar

 Good Friday - Stations of the Cross
Traversing the entire campus for Stations of the Cross

The service ends...Mirza and Wendy remain in prayer

Easter Sunday - Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
Ten baptism candidates, including 3 girls from the safe house (faces blurred) 6 children from the Children's Home, and beloved sister of Jose Santos
Baptism candidates affirm desire to be baptized
Candidates and sponsors
Procession begins...
On the way to the river
Acolytes Daniel and Dulce arrive first
The congregation assembles

A local family, washing in the river, stays to watch
Each candidate is helped by Jose Santos as they prepare for full immersion baptism
Back in church, the baptism concludes

The Lord is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!