Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

today is Ash Wednesday.
i went to mass for the blessing and the ash on my forehead. the main celebrant was His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala. the last time i attended mass was last year, same function, same location and the routine hasnt changed yet. lotsa people, sermon about the value of introspection and the giving of alms to the poor and stuff that makes me feel all warm and mushy inside.

i was wandering off in thought thinking about attending mass in junior high, once during the week, on sunday, every public and religious holiday. there wasnt much to it really, you walked in, sat down and sent your mind off to whereever you wanted and waited for the mass to end so you could go to supper or if it was sunday, lunch. as long as you remembered to go through the motions of kneeling, standing, crossing yourself and qeueing for the communion, you'd be okay.

most of us were so spaced out during this entire process that none of us even remotely fazed when Juma Saadiq and Isaac were altarboys repeatedly. if they wanted to, well, that was just dandy. oh i was altarboy myself once, on the occasion of the mass to bless us before we did our "O" level exams. i was so pretty in the red and white vestments i was wondering why i'd never done it before.

when i left Catholic boarding school and joined an Anglican school, boy oh boy, it was like East meets West! i became emancipated in thought, deed and belief. and thats to put it mildly. however "freedom" has its drawbacks, after a lifetime of symbolic ritual liberally interspersed with ceremony and sanctimonious self aggrandizement, well one would be hard put to find a place of refugee in the miasma of evangelical and pentecostal scenarios.

so i go to Christ the King on Ash Wednesday to relive simpler times gone by. it was kinda interesting that not two feet from me was Mr. Osuban, the funkiest English Literature teacher i ever had, on the other side was this guy who used to be a prefect for the Chapel or something. and right next to him was Emmanuel who sat next to me in Senior Four, and he's holding a rather worn looking bible for good measure. who'd ever thought it, Emmanuel at mass! but then again, that isnt so strange. Catholics make the best barroom crawlers and confession attendees.

so we went through all the motions and got our foreheads crossed with the ash and the deacon blessed us and we departed to start our fasts. right before we all started receiing the ash, the parish priest in his welcome to the Cardinal "pointed out" that we had a most distinguished guest in the person of Hajji Hasib Takuba Kabuye, deputy mayor and mayoral aspirant. you should have heard the wave of cynical laughter that swept through the worshippers, it was just so Ugandan. as if to say, "the bloody cheek of the man, shamelessly using an ocassion as holy as this to campaign!". we vote tomorrow by the way.


Blogger Carlo said...

have you been to a fully pentecostal church where they sing and dance and jump and run up and down the aisles and raise their voices when they pray and people lay hands on you and there are people at the altar crying and others just laughing and people speak in tongues and all those hallelujiah moments?

Fri Mar 03, 12:18:00 pm  
Blogger Degstar said...

more times than i care to remember Luvvie. sometimes i was one of the people ushering the brethren into the Presence. been there, done there, have the T-shirt

Fri Mar 03, 01:00:00 pm  
Blogger Jay said...

Having gone to a secodary school that tried as much as possible to keep secular (there was no school chapel, sunday prayers were organised by concerned parties YCS, and its Protestant equivalent), my church going has been at best sporadic.

I can however relate, during my first two terms in S1, to entering service and "signing out". It was a temporary haven from the tormentors on the ouside.

Fri Mar 03, 02:04:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home