Yesterday, Bishop Darwin Andino consecrated the church in Quebraditas, Concepción, Copán, in the Dulce Nombre parish, with Padre German helping.
March 19 was the day chosen for the even since it is the feast of St. Joseph who is the patron of the village of Qeubraditas.
I went out at 9 am in the morning and with Marcia from Dulce Nombre helped prepare the church and get the people ready for the Mass and ceremonies.
The people had painted the church, put in a ceramic floor, and transformed the church.
I had liked the church before it was painted. It had been a beautiful rose color. But the people wanted the new colors.
Preparing the church for the Mass had its interesting moments. For example, when curtains were hung from the beams or tin sheets were taken down off the beams, we used a ladder that did not reach the beams; it had to be held by four guys so that a kid or an adventurous young guy could go up and get the work done. Typical campesino ingenuity - when you don't have what you need, improvise.
It was a two and a half hour Mass and would have been longer if the bishops hadn't limited his homily to 35 minutes. But the consecration of a church has many extra elements:
the handing over of the keys to the bishop and the pastor,
the blessing of the people and the walls with holy water,
the litany of the Saints (which I ended up singing),
the anointing of the altar and the walls with chrism,
and the burning of incense on the altar.
Since a tabernacle was not prepared we did not have the blessing of the tabernacle.
And of course there was a lot of singing.
After the Mass all were invited to share tamales.
I got home to Santa Rosa at 9 pm, tired, but glad to have been able to take part in another celebration in the parish.
I had also gotten a chance to chinear un bebé - hold a little kid who reached out to me when I was talking with his mother.
He wasn't one of the ones who looked at me and either hid or cried! His eyes are closed because of the bright sun.
The joys of ministry.