August 12, 2008

A few thousand words about church

I’ve written before about the Xhosa-language Anglican church I’ve been attending in Mthatha’s township for the last six months but it was only on Sunday that I brought my camera along. I didn’t get a lot of great shots but some of them illustrate a few points I made earlier.

The sanctuary before the service begins.

The processional - note the crucifier is on the far left of the picture, followed by six torch-bearers, a whole mess of other acolytes, then a bunch of lay ministers, before finally getting to the clergy, out of sight on the right of the picture.

The acolytes form a phalanx for the clergy and others to get to the altar first.

A few clergy (there are at least three others not in this picture), surrounded by acolytes. Think how many churches in the U.S. breathe a sigh of relief when just three acolytes show up. This church always has at least 20.

The wardens and vestrymen of the church I am made to sit among. Think how out of place a tall, white person not wearing a dark suit coat would look in this picture.

Some of the lay ministers take communion. Look at all of ‘em!

Archdeacon G.M Buso, the head guy.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that one of the clergy looks like Ving Rhames and the deacon looks like Samuel L. Jackson. Consequently, I frequently find snatches of dialogue from the movie “Pulp Fiction” flitting through my brain during the service. None of them, of course, are appropriate for a family-friendly blog but I’m sure those of you familiar with the movie can see how amusing it would be to consider those two characters conducting an Anglican liturgy.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jesse,

As I am reading your 2008 Christmas blog, I am going to every link and finding it so interesting. At this point I will say to you Happy New Year! since it is January 1 in Tarrytown, New York, a sunny morning with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. I am feeling very grateful today.

Liliane Potier