The Priest leads congregation behind the costumed children and statue of Christ. Iglesia Catolica San Rafael De Atenas, Costa Rica After the 9 AM Easter Mass, April 5, 2015
I finally did it! I went to the beautiful Catholic Church for worship instead of the evangelical church I have been attending and it was wonderful, though still in Spanish and not generally understood. The standing room only 9:00 AM Mass had an unseen choir of young voices leading the congregation in singing a few songs/hymns/choruses accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. Beautiful! I will never miss the loud, rock-style “Praise Band” here or anywhere else. The music was so much more worshipful at the Catholic Church – but I’m not yet ready to become a Catholic! There was a small processional into the service and a grand one afterwards that led the whole congregation around the Central Park as shown in the photos.
Altar Boys and Girls Lead the Processional
Followed by a statue of the Risen Christ
A haphazard collection of unorganized shepherd boys (disciples?) with family members and others following along with them (The Mamas did great job on costumes! Probably Dads who didn’t organize them.)
And the girls, the only organized ones marching in a straight line (Love the girls!)
Followed by the priest and as many of the congregation who wanted to follow the march around the central park block (on left).
The 9:00 AM Standing Room Only Easter Mass before procession. There were also masses at 6 AM, 11 AM, and 5 PM Sorry about low-light cellphone photo – It is really beautiful! The room was made for worship and prayer. It helps you to do so. Someday I’ll get a good photos inside with tripod, etc.
Another interesting observation was that there were many more young adults and children than old people, which might have been related to the time and/or processional with children included. Never counted, but the Iglesia Biblica worship services seem to be about 50/50 older/younger adults with most children leaving after the hour song service for a children’s church. Both congregations are very family oriented with even teens sitting with their parents. This mass was a little over an hour long while the evangelical service is always at least two hours long with more than an hour of music and a 45 minute sermons, while the priest’s was maybe 15 minutes. Both churches are made up of very happy, friendly people, typical of Costa Rica!
CHECKED OUT A LOCAL HOTEL
After this Easter Morning experience, I walked the half block to La Caretta’s for a brunch omelette to supplement my earlier bowl of cereal. Then walked to the upscale Roca Verde housing development and the nearby Colinas del Sol Hotel to check it out in case any future visitors want something different from my house or the Vista Atenas B&B I have already used. Colinas is larger, offers more services, and is within walking distance of the Central Park – for me, at about 12 blocks estimate. But Vista Atenas has the best view! You just can’t easily walk from there, up on a mountain top 2+ miles. And of course one person or a couple can stay for free in my guest room like Kevin just did with both view and within walking distance!