Resurrection Morning Mass & Processional

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! 

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!

Internet Friends, Church, Funeral Procession, Gringo Brunch and Pura Vida!

Funeral Procession in Atenas, Costa Rica

Another eventful morning! Yesterday I was contacted my a couple from Minnesota who are in Atenas for two weeks as a base for exploring. They came across this blog and asked to get together for coffee or a meal and how to get to the church I reported on last Sunday. So we met for the 8 AM service at Iglesia Biblica Atenas and after the all-Spanish worship walked the 7 blocks or so to Kay’s Gringo Postres, where everyone eating there was a gringo. It was a very nice American-style breakfast buffet with great omelets and all the trimmings plus lots of fruit and even a peach cobbler. Yum, yum!

On the way we picked up a group of Americans from Indiana looking for an American-style breakfast and just took them with us. We are all friends here! And it was fun getting a new friend from my blog meaning someone is reading it!  🙂

Two blocks from Kay’s we passed this small funeral procession, my first here.

First sighting of the Funeral Procession in Atenas January 11, 2015.

There were no noisy sirens, hired cops clearing the way, just a family walking behind the hearse (station wagon) with its lights on and flowers on top. Since it was approaching midday, several walked with umbrellas for protection from the heat. Behind them was maybe 5 or 6 cars following with their lights on, of course moving at a walk pace. Along the street locals stop what they are doing in respect to the deceased like we did in the old days in the states. It was solemn and respectful. Another new cultural experience today.

Tomorrow’s adventure is a trip to San Jose to see my local lawyer. I’m splurging and hiring a driver rather than the uncertainty of when the bus would get me there. Next time will be by bus. Pura vida continues in the happiest place on earth in the town with the best weather on earth! I am truly blessed! And then new friends pop up from my blog today! Wow! Pura Vida!