My introduction to Our Lady of Guadelupe
On Wednesday, our normal day for RCIA, there was supposed to be a group reading at a Novena for Our Lady of Guadalupe at the big Cathedral. But on Wednesday there was an ice storm, and in Texas, no one drives when there's an ice storm. I got to the church early, about 7p, as I was asked to do by the RCIA leader. There was NO ONE there from my class! The service was supposed to be bilingual, but they decided to just have it in Spanish like a normal 7p mass. First they did a novena rosary in Spanish. I could at least figure out what prayers they were saying and say the English verision along with everyone else who was speaking Spanish. When I heard "Santa Maria", I knew it was time to say, "Holy Mary, mother of God ....".
Then the service started. Because the service was about Our Lady of Guadalupe, they had "native American" dancers, I imagine as representatives of the original Incan and Mayan cultures of Mexico that were converted because of the love of Juan Diego and his building of the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was really crazy - like a step dance, but with Indians. The service was rather usual, but since I had never been to a Spanish service before, the songs were different for me. It sounded like they were playing a phonograph of the music.
At the end of the service was a really neat tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. They sang a song, called Adios, Reina del Cielo, which as close as I could tell, was a traditional song sung at the services dedicated to Our Lady. It almost sounded like a lullaby. As we sang, the lights slowly went out, until the song was completely over, and the only light in the Cathedral was luminating the portrait of Our Lady. It was so quiet and peaceful and, well, neat basically.
Then the Indians danced again, and we all left. While I didn't understand much of anything during that entire service, I feel really blessed to be able to have shared the culture of the Spanish-speaking members of the Cathedral. I'd love to come early and be able to experience the final day of Our Lady of Guadalupe's novena, but from what I hear it's Standing Room Only on the last day. Maybe it's worth it to cram in there a bit. We'll see.