Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Holy Wednesday - Passover Supper & Parish Procession

Midweek Eucharist at St Andrew's this morning, just nine of us. There wasn't a coffee morning to follow, because of it being Holy Week, so I was able to join the family for coffee and then spend an hour in the sun with them on the beach, about as much as I could take without feeling scorched all over. For these few days I'm in self protect mode to make sure I get through my duties unhindered. I returned to the house for lunch and wrote tomorrow's sermon, then at six, as the family were returning from town, I set out to walk to the Lux Mundi centre, in a side street near the Plaza de España at the other end of town, taking me the best part of an hour.
I'd been invited there to participate in a Christian version of the Passover Seder supper, using the Jewish prayers and rituals together with mainly Johannine passages from the Gospels. It didn't want the hassle of car parking. Everywhere was bound be congested and busy as later on, it would be Los Boliches cofradia's turn to process through the streets with its images of Jesús Cautivo and Nuestra Señora de Dolores - our Lady of Sorrows. Just walking there on busy streets was a challenge to maintain a pace, as there were so many people out and about, enjoying the evening.
I arrived in good time, and was amazed to find that ninety people were sitting down for supper. It was a truly ecumenical occasion, with representatives of all the Scandinavian, Dutch and German chaplaincies as well as a dozen Anglicans present, many of them centre volunteers.
The liturgy booklet was nicely printed in Spanish and English - I was told that only ten of the ninety were native Spanish speakers anyway, so most of it was done in English, with the exception of several passages of scripture and psalms. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the Jesuit priest who is the Lux Mundi pastor, with the new Swedish pastor, the Norwegian and Scottish pastors sitting opposite (in the photo above). Mind you I had to sing for my supper, given the role of the father of the household, explaining the meaning to the youngest son - a lad from the Calahonda congregation whose grandpa Fr David Wright is a retired priest and former chaplain. It was a truly lovely experience. We ate delicious paschal lamb with rice and almonds.

I walked back as briskly as I could, and heard the distant sounds of processional bands playing on the move. I had a text message to say that the family had all descended into the barrio and were eating supper in a restaurant on the route. I'd forgotten my camera, so I had to walk home to collect it. It was ten by the time I got back and I was tired enough to give in and take the car back down the hill, but parking, even in the car park where the church has privileges, was impossible. After circulating the vicinity for ten minutes I found a doubtful place in a back street, and rushed in the direction from which I could hear music and drums. I caught up with the second procession of Nuestra Señora as it was about the cross under the railway viaduct to go down to the avenida de los Boliches.
The trono had to pass beneath a five metre high girder. When shoulder mounted it's about six metres high. The hombres de trono gently lowered it on to its supports and dragged it under, to an enthusiastic round of applause from the surrounding crowd. I'd noticed on my visit to the casa hermanidad that these particular tronos stood not on stilts but on large wheels, like on large mobile scaffolds. Now I understood why.

Then, I doubled back up the road to the barrio Parish Church of Our Lady and Sta Fe, to make contact with the first procession of Jesús Cautivo. The leading processional cross had just arrived in the church plaza and the rest of the procession was strung out down the avenida de los Boliches for half a kilometre.
It meant I had time to wander back along the street and take more of the photos I'd hoped for.
Finally satisfied, I went in search of my car, hoping not to have a late night parking ticket, and return home, feeling pretty tired after walking the best part of ten miles today. On my way back up the hill, I finally caught up with the family and was able to taxi them the last kilometre of the day. You can see the photos I took here

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