Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mass of the Holy Grass


The village Catholics are busy decorating the church and preparing a huge feast. Something important is happening. They want me to attend. They say it is the Mass of the Holy Grass, which happens every second Sunday in September. Surely I remember it from last year.

Some things don’t make sense. There is a large red, I assume bleeding, cross in front of the church. I ask again about the Mass of the Holy Grass, laughter erupts as I am corrected.

My quest at understanding has only the certainty of misunderstanding and understanding those that understand are fallible. It is time for mass to begin and to cross the road where the Cross beckons.

After the mass, I sit at the feast on the right hand side of the Dutch parish priest, a place of high honor, eating every kind of meat, fowl, and fish Samoa has to offer on a platter with a garnish of cabbage (my contribution). A high school girl who wants to be a lawyer to correct the injustices of the world fans me. She cannot understand why Samoan people spend so much money when a person dies instead of for the living, but she supports all of Samoan culture. At the end of the feast I am presented an envelope of money from people who were borrowing from me last week for food, only to have the money borrowed again at the end of the feast. I understand that I don’t understand, if you understand what I mean.

1 comment:

Barb Carusillo said...

Hey, it all makes perfect sense to somebody, just not you. Me either, but there it is. Mass of the Holy Grass?? Must be a Samoan thing since I am cradle Catholic, never heard of that one.