A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Holy Week

So it's Easter today and once again it kind of arrived in an anticlimatic, almost unnoticed fashion. Easter, and Holy Week more generally has long been my favorite time of the year; the solemnity of the preceding week and the inner reflection and outward gratitude that takes place (along with the footwshing for we happy Mennonites). The pure, unadulterated joy we feel on Sunday morning with the announcement of Christ's triumph over death and hence our own triumph as well. It seems that this holiday more than any other really takes time not only to focus and reflect on who we are, our undeseverdness, our complete depravity (throwing a bone to the Calvinists) but also then to worship, celebrate and revel in Jesus and the work that he did in his life, death and resurrection and the implications and total import that it carries for we, his followers. Add to all that then the ritual, the traditions, the incredible hymns and the requisite family gatherings and Easter becomes far and away the most important week of the year...unless you're a non-Catholic living in Honduras. Turns out the Christians of the evangelical persuasion here in Hondie, in their myopic effort to set themselves firmly juxtapose to the Catholic Church have simply gone overboard and done away with anything that smacks of liturgy, tradtition or observance. It can be frustrating and maddening but more than anything it just saddens me and I've taken to ignoring the holidays or passing them in my own unique way.
In that the major businesses, banks, schools and government offices are closed from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday most people here, Catholics included use Holy Week as their Summer Vacation week. There are trips to the beaches, the mountains, the islands and parties in the evenings. For our part we took the kids on a couple of day trips, Good Friday was spent with 32 of our favorite kids at La Sirena and yesterday we took 13 kids hiking in the national forest and then swimming in the nearby river while we waited for Konrad's parents to start their canopy tour. It certainly wasn't the traditional way to spend the holiday but hey, we're Protestants in Honduras which means we're nothing if not anti-tradition.
tati holding up the mountain for us as we pass through
the boys are highly impressed
the stragglers
nango, soplo y konrad

Happy Easter.


Nancy Marshall said...

Hi Matt,
It's the same with evangelicals here in Belize.
No Christmas congs
no Christmas pageant
Not even a Christmas related sermon

No Holy week mid-week services
No foot washing
No Easter songs

Yesterday to my surprise on Easter Sunday the Pastor did teach about la santa cena

and we shared communion

It's also a major swimming holiday...many of the people skip Easter Sunday church in favor of swimming somewhere.

The nice thing about pastoring our deaf church is I can decide what we do so we re-enacted Maundy Thursday, ate the bread and grapes, washed feet sang "Were you there?" last Sunday and on Easter Sunday sang the other great hymns.

Next year....you and the boys of Laureles could do your own Holy week celebration...lead it and invite the Mennonite church to come. smile...maybe that would upset the apple cart.

The Horsts in Honduras said...


Too true (and sad)what you said about the Honduran evangelicals. Our kids here could hardly give me the real reason we celebrate "Semana Santa". We basically had no Easter Sun. service here at La Finca. Not by our choice but we'll make up for it where we can. Have a great day!