Thursday, 21 April 2011

La semana santa and la pascua

Peru is a strongly Catholic country, and semana santa (Holy Week) is a very important time. I got caught up in a fiesta on Monday, as they celebrated the SeƱor de los temblores (the Lord of the Tremors). It is believe that an oil painting of Christ protected the city from an earthquake in 1650, and there are huge celebrations. I was just trying to return something to a shop, but there were lots and lots of people about! I tried to take some pics, but they aren't great shots, I am afraid.

During Holy Week, many Peruvians eat 12 dishes, representing the 12 disciples. There's no meat involved, as most Catholics don't eat meat during Holy week, but fish dishes, corn soup, the juice of peaches cooked in water and other things! I am pretty sure this happened yesterday. Daniel had today and yesterday off school, as these are such important days.

For the Evangelical church, things are a little different. Easter isn't always hugely celebrated, in part-response to some of the differences that they have with the Catholic Church. Some would say that every day is Resurrection Day and there is no need for a special celebration. Our church is celebrating with our service, followed by a meal on Sunday. Neil also went to a communion service last night.

Today, though, we spent some time as a family. We went up to near Sacsayhuaman with another family (it is great to be making friends!) Then, the 4 of us walked up to Cristo Blanco, the huge figure of Christ overlooking Cusco. There are also 3 crosses there. It was a beautiful day, and it was wonderful to sit and talk about the death of Jesus and what it means, although Daniel was quick to point out he rose again as well! We prayed and got the combi home. What a wonderful way for us as a family to reflect on Good Friday.


  1. Hi Neil & Amanda, Daniel & Sophia,

    Anne & I want to wish you all a very special Easter.

    We try to keep up with the blog (you are prolific writers, so, if we're honest, we don't always get to read every word) and your news is always wonderful to hear (and brings back so many memories for us). I especially enjoyed reading about the adventures of the folks from Bristol Baptist College. I've met Steve Finamore (The Principal) a few time and see that he was part (probably a key part) of their trip (well, I seem to recall him telling me that he speaks Spanish).

    You sound as thought you had a good time on your walk up to Cristo Blanco.
    We attended a local Good Friday service organised by our local Churches Together group. On the previous evening (Maundy Thursday) I held a Tenebrae Communion Service, which is a bit of an indulgence for me as I really enjoy slowing down & taking time over contemplating the last days of Jesus life.

    A slight break today and then in with a Bang on Easter Sunday morning. I've invited folk to contribute pictures, paintings, photos, poems etc. for a Display. I've been pleased with the response - we are blessed with some very talented folk in Mount Pleasant and am hoping that visitors see something of our wonderfully glorious God in the display.

    We wish you all a special Peruvian Easter.
    He is Risen!

    Mark & Anne

  2. Hi Neil & Amanda,

    We're experiencing a (mini) heat wave here perhaps because Easter is later this year.

    It's really interesting what you share about the Peruvian evangelical Church's response to Easter Celebrations ... in the context of the Roman Catholic society. Something to think about re our own context here.

    Glad you were able to get up the mountain and share something of the Easter story with friends ... and bless Daniel for his announcement of the resurrection truth "But He rose again didn't he ...!"

    Every Blessing for Easter Day and hope to catch up with you again soon ...