Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday Night in Gamboa

Saturday evening the Lovely Mona and I were in Gamboa at Iglesia San Simón for their patronal festival. Of course, St. Simon's feast day isn't until this coming Wednesday, but since San Simón holds services on Saturday evenings, we celebrated early. San Simón was the very first church (along with San Juan en Betánia) to which I was assigned when we first came to Panamá over ten years ago. The congregation holds a special place in our hearts, and I fill-in for Padre Nelson when he is away, so I'm the Assisting Clergy there.

Wesley Scott and Padre Nelson had recently found the old church bell, so they had it restored and built a stand for it just outside the door. Since Bishop Murray was presiding, we had him bless the bell. Since we had no acolytes, I filled in as thurifer and acolyte. I realize that some of our Altar Guild and Sacristy-rat readers may be troubled by the fact that the frontals and the Bishop's stole are green while Padre y yo are wearing red stoles. Well, we didn't have enough red stoles or green stoles, and since Padre was using the propers for the Twenty-first Sunday of Pentecost instead of the propers for the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, the Altar Guild used green. The Bishop and his priests discussed the matter, and decided to go with the Christmasy colour scheme you see here.

The Bishop handed out certificates to Mr. Luther Atkinson and Mr. Wesley Scott for all their work for St. Simon's.

After the Mass we had a lovely dinner of tossed green salad, chicken pot pie, french bread, coconut tart, cocobread, chicha, and helados.

Photos by the Lovely Mona:

Front of San Simón

New Walkway

The Bell

The Chancel

Mr. Greaves, organist

Thelma and Homer Welsh

Los clérigos

The Congregation

Blessing the bell

Ringing the bell

Obispo Murray y Padre Edwards

Incense time

Mr. Luther Atkinson receives a certificate

Mr. Wesley Scott receives a certificate

The spread




Andy said...

Que me in here Padre. Is this an expat community? Just curious.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Makes me hungry (and happy)...thanks, Leonardo

Padre Mickey said...

No, these are Panamanians. The majority of Anglicans in Panama (and Central America) are of West Indian heritage.

Mary-Cauliflower said...

Are they Spanish-speaking?

I have visited the Anglican Diocese of Amazonas and met several Anglicans whose families were originally from Barbados. They have British names but are all Portuguese speakers.

At the parish where I worship in Massachusetts we have several people of Barbadian ancestry as well. One of them told me about an aunt who had gone away to work in Brazil and was never heard from again.

Padre Mickey said...

Mary-Cauliflower, everyone here speaks Spanish, but many congregations prefer to worship in English. St. Simon's is an English-speaking parish.
St. Christopher's is a bilingual parish, with services in English, Spanish, and bilingual services for high feasts and special occasions.

The service this Sunday will be bilingual, in honor of All Saints (Todos los Santos).

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