jeudi 6 mars 2008

Jesus and the Mullet Man

Well, I went to church again. This time to the Catholic Church which was, characteristically enough, completely different than the protestant service and exactly alike all Catholic services across the world. Last time I went to the Protestant Church they did "freestyle prayer" which is enough to make any good episcopalian completely freaked out. "Wait, are they freestyling?? Oh shit. If they ask me to freestyle I'll just recite something and hope they cant tell the difference. Oh shit. Dear God, please dont make me freestyle pray." This was one of the freestyle prayers going through my head. The other freestyle prayer looping through my thoughts was divinely inspired when the my fellow freestylers erupted into fits of crying and shouting as the force of the spirit made them either desperately irate or desperatlely thankful. I couldn't tell which as a beleaguered repenter screeched, "BARK-WENDNUM!!! and us fellow sinners boomed in response,"AMINA!!!" (Thanks be to God and Amen). Thus, the only prayer in my head was asking poor Jesus to please make these poeple calm down and stop screaming at him. I was a little freaked out but I'm a southern American so I'm at least a little used to this kind of "praise."

This brings me to two things I appreciate about the Cathies. One, no one is ever asked to freestyle pray, thank God! Two, no matter where you are, you know what to expect when you walk into a Catholic Church. Even in the middle-of-nowhere in Africa you can count on the presence of: a tabernacle, taperd candles, an altar draped in the appropriate color for the particular season in the church calendar, frequent use of the word pecher or "to sin", specifc readings and hymns, and a blessed quiet. Certainly there are a few deviances between the various parishes etc. The Catholic Church in Tougouri, Namentenga Province, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Earth, Milky Way boasts a spectacular fresco/mural. Typical of many religious murals, this one pictures "God" crowning "Jesus" before a "choir of angels" and a gathering of various "worshippers." What was so spectacular was the amazing and inspiring wimpiness of the "God" depicted. He was a 35 year-old with a yellow-blond page-boy haircut and matching goatee (how do you spell that?). What? The worshippers is attendance were my favorite part. They were a crowd of people around the angel choir which i'll get to in a second. Among the faithful watching "God" crown "Jesus" were three bishops - one was wearing aviators. One middle-aged men with a "high and tight" army style hair cute, aviator sunglasses, and a mustache. he kinda looked like a stormtrooper. One broad "King Triton" look-alike -- you know, from The Little Mermaid -- long white hair and moustache but he also had a tiny red ball cap on his head. My favorite was a middle-aged man resplendent in a white t-shirt, handlebar mustache, and long brown mullet. All he needed was a pack of cigarettes and a beer and it would have been complete. Really??? A guy with a mullett? All-in-all there were about 30 people there represnting all races except those of Asian decent. Ther cherub choir was also racially inclusive; black and white faces together watching "God" crown "Jesus" with equally yellow-blond wigs on to match that of "God's." Whatever.

It's funny to me what ends up being cross-cultural and what doesn't. In my experience, not interrupting, un-spoken laws about personal space, and critical thinking skills are things do not translate into the culture here. That is to say, i thought everyone around the world knew that it was rude to interrupt a conversation or touch strangers and that critical thinking was a genetic capacity and not a cultural one. However, the customs, mindset, and style of worship of Protestants (in this Assembly of God Protestants) versus Catholics seems to know no borders.

2 commentaires:

Molly a dit…

The Mullet man? The mullet man!

Molly a dit…

She's married to the mullet man.