Saint John the Evangelist (Lockport, IL)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Perhaps Off Topic

Just so y'all know, I've been working on a job in the Philippines for the last two weekends. I'm doing work in Lapu-Lapu on Mactan Island, and staying in Cebu City in Cebu (connected to Mactan by bridge). Cebu is about an hours flight south of Luzon (the largest Philippine island containing Manila). It's actually my first time out of the country and has been interesting. Last Sunday I was in Hong Kong, but wasn't quite confident in my ability as a "world" traveler to seek out a Church, so I just wandered around Kowloon instead.

I visited a local Roman Catholic church service today. I decided not to seek out an Episcopal Church largely because Cebu is a very Christian Island, mostly Catholic, and I wanted the "local experience". Apparently today was some sort of feast day for St Mary, so for a protestant that was the most jarring thing. I haven't gotten quite comfortable with, basically, the deification of Mary. One other thing that struck me as odd was a number of women (perhaps 4) who proceeded to their pew in the church on their knees. I thought that an unusual custom ... more demonstrative than (again) we protestants are accustomed. Also, they did exchange peace, but not very enthusiastically. They also had a custom, which might also be done in the States, I can't recall, of holding hands during the Lord's prayer. The church also had no hymnals or service leaflets. Service music (the words only) were projected with an overhead projector (poorly visible in the light). The church had open arches along the sides instead of walls. Birds lived in the dome behind the altar. The homily was nothing to write home about.

Anyhow, I'm safe, healthy and in good cheer and will be back (at long last) in Lockport to worship with y'all on Sunday.



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