Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Mass in Kenya

Mass at St. Mary's Parish in Nairobi.

I’ve only been here three days and already I am immersed in Kenyan life. I’m speaking Swahili. I’m eating with my fingers. I shopped at the Nakumatt in downtown Nairobi whose motto is “You need it, we’ve got it.” I’ve used the internet cafe. I even had my first ride on a matatu (minibus) yesterday, which is not for the faint-hearted. There’s so much to tell, I will have to catch up on future posts.

Today I went to the Catholic church here at St. Mary’s in Nairobi. It is a very small church with a very small parish. The “pews” are very small wood benches without backs on them. There are murals of a black Jesus painted on the walls near the ceiling. Mass in completely in Swahili and lasts between two to three hours long. Oh, and we four volunteers were the only white people in attendance!

Now I have to tell you that it was an incredibly spiritual experience! The people are so lively and full of joy. The choir director raises his hands and the choir begins…and then the entire church joins in clapping and singing. I don’t know any of the words, but I know they are singing about God and the music is very uplifting and joyful. Later, as we four were giving the sign of peace to those seated nearby, we were approached by many others including many children. All wanted to shake our hands and grant us peace.

At the end of the mass, Sister Jane, our site director with the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, addressed the parish and we stood up and introduced ourselves and got a round of applause for the work that we haven’t even done yet.

And this was just the morning…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an awesome experience!! That's what makes the Mass excellent...even if you don't understand it you can still experience it in a spiritually uplifting way!

Too cool!

Erin