Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Church Feast Day

Did someone say "Feast"?

In the Diocese of Virginia, it's an uphill battle to get a bishop to come on the day you would like them to come confirm, baptize, and/or receive members of the church. With so many churches and a limited number of Sundays, bishops are in high demand.

Here in the Diocese of Santiago instead of picking a random Sunday, the church chooses it's patron saint's feast day to have the bishop confirm, baptize, and/or receive congregation members. Yesterday, happened to be St. Joseph's Feast Day, where I spent Christmas Day. The Bishop invited me to come along with him, Penny, and Ma'am Sandra.

{Padi Aura, Fr. Ralph, Bishop Alex, Fr. Eric, and Marina}

It started as a typical service and then switched to the baptism, confirmation, and reception. Two major differences are one, the baptismal fount is in the back of the church and two, the Bishop doesn't sit in his throne where the confirmands kneel in front of him. Oh and of course, the whole thing was in Ilocano.

{Baptism in the back of the church}

{Recipients and Confirmands line up in front of the Bishop}

Afterwards there was a short program with welcoming remarks, congratulations, and songs performed by the junior warden  and the ECW. Then it was time to eat! All of my favorite Filipino foods were served. I was a happy camper! The kids were even happier with candy as an after meal treat.

{Kids goofing off while singing the national anthem}

{Junior Warden graced us with a song}

I love opportunities to witness how other church's celebrate their ministries and one another. St. Joseph's is one of those churches where you get the feeling everyone is family. Your spirit is uplifted the minute you walk through the church doors. Everyone should have an opportunity to feel that at some point whether at their own parish or someone else's.

Thanks for reading!

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