Frutti's the juice bar was closed this morning. Not a surprise, but an unplanned start to my day.
Most of our group moseyed over to the Casa for the English Sunday Service. It wasn't a Mass or a formal church service, but it was one of the most uplifting services I've ever attended.
They had songbooks in lots of languages, and prayerbooks as well. We started with the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary, and everyone said it in whatever language they were most comfortable. By the time I figured out the program, I was a beat behind but scurried to catch up verbally.
Then one woman stood and sang in a voice that was so beautiful it made me see light.
After that, we all started in singing together as a group. I had only picked up prayer books, not song books, so the guy next to me (not from our group) shared his with our entire pew. He seemed to be really familiar with the songs; I later learned that he arrived for two weeks in March and is still here. There's alot of that happening here.
Back to the service. There was a guitar player in the front, and the songs were upbeat and catching and wonderfully energizing. I personally sang like I never sang before. I think that was true for everyone around me (unless they were trying their best to drown me out). The songs ran the gamut from religious to spiritual to popular to Sufi.
For the first unfamiliar song, I mentioned to the man next to me (the one who had shared his song book) that I didn't know this one. He stated matter-of-factly, that I would catch on easily. That kind of confidence is so strengthening to me, and I did.
Some of the songs included Sing Hosanna, Let it Be, Kumbaya, and When the Saints Go Marching in. For The Saints, the contingent from the U.S. Southern states stood, did all kinds of harmonies, and were so loud that I wanted to cheer. And did.
They invited anyone from different countries to sing a song in their language. The Germans sang, a Norwegian said a prayer, one Japanese woman said that she was here from Japan but didn't want to sing (I guess she mostly wanted to be counted), another woman stood and said that she was Orthodox from the Ukraine (there was a whole group from the Ukraine) and didn't sing as part of their worship but was happy to be there. The group of about 20 Swedes got up and sang together, twice. The second time, they belted out the first verse of their song, then mumbled through the second verse, which had them and all of us in hysterics.
There was lots of laughter and hand-holding and hugging and joy. And that was just me. tee hee. Just kidding - it was everyone.
They sent us off with the reminder that every moment is a good moment, and every day the best day ever. (My interpretation of his words.)
I'm off to the waterfall soon. I ran into Rah, a friend I met from NYC. She went to the waterfall yesterday and came away knowing that she needed to be silent for the rest of the day. I guess she was warning me of that possibility!
Sending lots of love to you.Marie
Here is a link to one of the songs, in case you wanted a sample. Our version was more rollicking, but the essence is the same.