Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our Lady of Guadalupe



Yesterday’s heavens were definitely a winter sky! It was December dark and grew darker all day as the heavy rains approached. The possible severe storms faded out though and we got only the rains—a relief. The temps were so warm in mid-70’s and broke a hundred year old record for the day. Ah, December in the Midwest!

That evening I went to a friend’s church with her. It was the third week in Advent and we both expected a solemn atmosphere emphasizing the hope and promise of the coming birth celebration of a baby Messiah. Imagine our surprise when a band with drums and guitars were in the choir loft! The music was toe-tapping and hip swaying, not your traditional hymns.

The altar had a mini-altar set up in front with a brown skinned Madonna and bright flowers, all accentuated by bright lights. The service was said in Spanish as it was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th. I had heard much of this Madonna as my grandparents saw the original cape or tilman on a trip to Mexico in the 1960’s.


Mexico and Central America, like much of North America, were Christian by the sword and force. The story says that the Blessed Mother appeared asking for a church where her people could practice their faith. She sent a man, Juan Diego, to the local bishop with a cape folded over a bunch of roses to plead her case. When he got there, the roses had become a beautiful painting of the Madonna, a miracle. The fabric and painting still exist today and have been studied by scientists with no answer to exactly what or how it came to be painted.


So last night was a festive adoration and celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The music made us feel like dancing and that was not a bad way to exit a church and face a new week in the world!


9 comments:

rebecca said...

Hmmmmmmm. Sounds like an interesting service - AND a great way to exit!

Sioux said...

It's always great to be exposed to something new, right?

Susan said...

That sounds wonderful, Bookie. We had a celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe here, too! The Mexican people love her so much and they love fiestas and ceremonies. I think Juan Diego was a little boy when she appeared to him but I'm not 100 percent sure. Your photo was lovely! Susan

Elephant's Child said...

What an amazing service to go to.

Linda O'Connell said...

What a lovely surprise to discover in the church. I love the picture.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

This is a story I had never heard before. You've given me cause to go Googling. :) Thanks for a great post!

Sioux said...

Claudia--I am doing Cathy Hall's challenge, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your posts. You take us along on your trips, and your reflections always make ME think.

So thanks, and here's hoping that 2016 is your best year yet...

Donna Volkenannt said...

Lovely post, Claudia. I love the way different cultures celebrate holidays and special events. Thanks for sharing the photos and explanation.

Marylin Warner said...

Claudia, I tried to leave a comment on the Log Cabin gallery, but it wouldn't "post" so I tell you here that I enjoyed it very much. Well done!
Also it's been more than a decade since I attended a celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and your description brought back so many vivid, colorful and strong memories. I was in a church near Santa Fe, and during the celebration two young girls--probably 4 & 5 years old--were caught up in the spirit of things. They scooted out of the pew and began dancing their way down the aisle. It was precious and also contagious.
I was with my mother this weekend (and my 11-year-old grandson asked to come along with me). The weather was warmer, windy and sunny, a real blessing after the snow and ice of eastern Colorado interstate and western Kansas!