Thursday, April 26, 2007

Semana Santa Report

Hello All,

You might remember that I wanted to report on what Semana Santa was like when we were in Spain last year. Due to heavy rains, most of the fanfare was cancelled. Our friends, Brian and Andrea Jackson, who are in Madrid, send out a monthly newsletter, and included their experience of Semana Santa in the most recent edition.

"Semana Santa (the week preceding Easter) is a "big deal" here, with lots of traditions and ceremonies. We were able to witness some of the processionals, both on television and in our own street. On Good Friday, at 11:30 at night we started to hear drumbeats in the distance. It was especially creepy since we were in bed, reading an intense part of a mystery novel. We opened the door to our little balcony above the street and watched the people parade down. Many were wearing the traditional pointed hoods and robes of the Nazarenos which, to any American, instantly brings thoughts of the KKK (making it all the creepier). A small cross with the figure of Christ being crucified was carried first, followed by the hooded participants, and then came a very grand figure of the virgin Mary, adorned with gold and jewels, with rows of lit candles, under a canopy, and carried on the shoulders of those in the procession. All attention was on her and very few eyes, if any, were on the Christ. It was so strikingly out of proportion, and extremely sad, and left us feeling unsettled. (I'm sure the murder mystery didn't help.)

Easter morning we were able to worship the Lord while watching the sun rise over the ridge that borders Camarma, and were reminded that Christ is no longer on the cross, and is no longer dead, but is alive and well, and for that we have reason to rejoice.

Please continue to pray that we would learn more Spanish, would be a light in a dark place, that God would grant us the time and energy to work diligently, and that we would make new acquaintances with those around us.

Thanks Brian and Andrea. You do have our prayers! Check out their blogspot, now available on the right hand side.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

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