Sunday, November 22, 2009
Beautiful Churchs, Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in MIssion, Texas
You can see the white dome and the steeple from quite a ways as it towers above the trees in Mission, Texas. Inside the old church is just what you would expect, a simply yet beautiful wooden altar, with a old but large and elegant painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The service started with a country western song and four dogs ran down the aisle and climbed the stair before laying down in front of the altar. The priest followed the cross procession and we knew we were in for an unique service, one of the joys of full timing and visiting different churches in our travels.
We never really planned on becoming church junkies, it really started long ago when we visited the beautiful cathedral in Toledo, Spain. As we began traveling we began to go to services and even started visiting churches, which are really a statement on the technological advances of their day.
I have already talked abut the hand carved altar in the church in Mesilla, but there are so many other places that deserve to be mentioned. The basilica of Natchez,Mississippi has the most amazing and beautiful statues of the saints. Somewhat of a dichotomy in a town filled with beautiful churches and mansions funded and built by slavery.
Of course the spiral staircase in the church in Sante Fe, and its story, is another spot not to miss. There the story is told of a carpenter showing up and building the staircase without using any nails. He then left and was never seen again. In Surprise, Arizona we attended mass in a brand new church, with a most unique design, packed full with all sitting on temporary folding chairs. The church in Rockport, Texas is one of Renitas favorites and has a traditional tee shape with side wings for the choir and parishioners.
Grand Isle, Louisiana has a new church rebuilt from the destruction of hurricane Katrina, if I remember its called Our lady of the Isle. There as many places the priest works a joke into his sermon, although he does need to work on his delivery. Its so nice there to enjoy the service with my sister and her husband, Connie and Gary. He didn't use any fish for props during the services we attended but Palm Sunday was special as he used local fronds from the islands trees.
The mass, at Our Lady of Guadalupe, continued and the priest interspersed his sermon with parts of country western songs. Not surprisingly an appropriate tune played during the collection. It was really nice and well done. The dogs fell asleep in front of the altar as the mass continued.
The church was packed and the mass schedule told something about the services in Mission, Texas. One mass is in English, another in Spanish, and there is even a service called Tex Mex, that sounds really interesting and unique. As the service ended the dogs rose and stood expectantly before leading the procession outside the church. It had been an unexpected blessing and another church we will remember. Clear skies.