Sunday, 17 April 2016

First Communions in Sta Pola

We didn't get up early enough to get ourselves to the ten o'clock Mass at the main Parish Church of Our Lady of the Rosary this morning. In fact, we were unsure of the time and arrived just as communion was being distributed. Ann's back had been playing her up, so she stayed behind. Clare decided to return with some nice pastries to cheer her up and we enjoyed a cup of coffee together standing up in a crowded pasteleria before parting company.

 I decided to stay in town and wait for the midday Mass. It was one of the series of Paschaltide First Communion Sundays, so I knew it would be a 'Family Service' in every sense. I went to the Castello to wait, and found this was the gathering point for families with childred being presented for first Communion and the catechists organising the event. It was already visibly a multi generational event with abuelos minding the little ones, while the abuelas were involved with organising and drilling the candidates.

There were a dozen girls in white dresses and a dozen boys in sailor suits, a immaculately turned out. Two by two, shepherded by abuelas and photographed or videod every step of the way, they processed from the Capilla de Nuestra Senora de Loreto in the north east corner wall of the castillo, out to the main west gate to the church, two hundred yards away in a side street off the main square.

The church was packed, and the Parish priest, still the man I recall from previous visits, a good five years older than I, conducted the service with extensive explanation at every stage, perhaps conscious of how few people present, all dressed up to the nines, we're regular attenders. I was delighted to find how much of what he said I can now follow. The work I have done with Duolingo is reaping rewards now.

I arrived home just as Ann and Clare were venturing down to the beach, so I prepared salad for lunch, including a tapa of mussles (admittedly canned) in a spicy sauce on a bed of rice,a little fovourite of mine. Then later I also cooked supper supper, this time a risotto with seta mushrooms, onions, french beans and pickled anchovies - a great pleasure when the ingredients are so readily available at the Mercadona just a few flights of steps below our AirBnB apartment.

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