Blogging has been a bit slow, as I spent most of today writing Bible Studies for the Jr. High Summer Camp at which I will be chaplain, and which starts on January 8th. Talk about cutting things close!
We have been going full blast since Saturday, of course. We had a small but sweet Christmas Eve service on Monday evening, and the Lovely Mona was able to snap some photos. We were both so busy at the Christmas Day service that no photos were taken, but I'm sure we'll all live through that.
Attendance was a bit thin on Christmas Eve, as many members of the parish are elderly and don't like to go out at night. Also, public transportation is a nightmare on Christmas Eve. For some reason Panamanian taxi drivers have been acting strangely lately, refusing to take people where they want to go; I guess the taxi drivers are just picking up fares while on their own personal errands. So, folks don't come to evening services. There is one big exception, and that will be New Year's Eve. We have a Watchnight Service which begins at 10:00 pm or there abouts and ends just a bit after midnight. We'll have lots of photos of that service next week.
Christmas Day Mass was small but holy. We all gathered around the altar for Communion, which I really like. The Lovely Mona and I played a duet of "Once in Royal David's City" for the Offertory Anthem. I didn't have an organist, so I played guitar, and I gave Padre Cáceres the day off as he has young children and I thought that he should be with them on Christmas Morning.
In the afternoon we joined Tía Sue at Bert and Lizzie Leigh's home in Gamboa for our Christmas Day celebration. As I have the past few years, I cooked a delicious saag, and we had a wonderful time just being with dear friends.
I hope you are all having a great Christmas.
Early arrivals on Christmas Eve
Hey, guess what colour you should wear on Christmas Eve!
Youth Choir members
Blessing the nacimiento
The Holy Family
The Choir watching the blessing
Another view of the Holy Family. I like the expression on the face of the cow; it looks like she's wondering what is going on up on the roof! What's that noise? Is it an angel, or Santa Claus?
The Altar Party observes the blessing
The Choir in procession
The Congregation in procession