Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Corpus Christi in Dulce Nombre

The Eucharist is central to the devotional life of the people in Honduras, especially those in the countryside.

Even though they often do not have Masses in their villages more than a few times a year, Jesús sacramentado is a part of their piety.

This is especially apparent in the holy hours (usually on Thursdays) in the churches where they have the Blessed Sacrament reserved as well as in the processions for the feast of Corpus Christi.

 This year I attended the Mass and procession in Dulce Nombre de Copán on June 2.

The procession was preceded by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for Forty Hours in the church of San Antonio in one of the neighborhoods of Dulce Nombre. I remember Forty Hours from my childhood which was celebrated at different times throughout the year, remembering the forty hours Jesus was in the tomb.

At about 9:00 am on Corpus Christi, June 2, a small group of people gathered in San Antonio, began the procession with Padre German carrying the monstrance and little girls putting flower petals on the path before the monstrance.

Along the way the crowd stopped several times to pray. People knelt in the dirt as we prayed for the church, for the parish, and for Honduras.

After the first stop, some came with the canopy to carry over the monstrance.

What I found rather intriguing is that Padre German invited several members of the parish to carry the monstrance - first of all one of the sisters who work in the parish. It would have been quite a burden to carry the monstrance the whole procession, which was along a route of about two kilometers.

The last time we stopped was at 9:00 am, the hour when Pope Francis was beginning a world-wide hour of prayer before the Eucharist. I had printed out the pope's prayer intentions and Padre German asked me to read them.

We entered the church and celebrated the Mass.

During the Mass about sixteen young people were to receive their First Communion. Father called them up to the altar to profess the Creed together, before the assembly.

At the end of the Mass, Padre German called me forward and decided I needed to be doused with water to celebrate my birthday the day before. Luckily, the day was warm.

These are the types of celebrations where I find my faith nourished, by the simple faith of the people, as can be seen in the face of this altar boy, praying the Lord's Prayer during Mass.


A collection of Corpus Christi photos from the last five years in the parish of Dulce Nombre can be found here.


Joseph de Lange said...

Thanks for sharing. Very beautiful. Chuckled at your "baptism" ;-)

Charles said...

Happy birthday, Brother John. :-)