So I went to Ash Wednesday services on (duh) Wednesday night. The 6:30 Mass at St. Hedwig on Hoyne and Webster. I’ve lived two blocks away for over two years and I never attended a single service until this week.
The place is seriously beautiful — wide aisles, polished wood, stained glass windows, and murals. Statues of Jesus on the cross, the BVM, and various saints are shrouded in purple fabric. The air rings with the sound of kneelers crashing to the floor as they are opened. Small children roam the aisles, followed by attendant parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents. Everybody seems to be Mexican, Puerto Rican, Polish. There are a few Asians, most of whom are Filipino. And don’t ask me how I know. I just do.
There is a full organ loft where a small choir sings in accompaniment to the organist who plays the psalms and responses. Attendees sing too but tentatively, in small voices because their English is imperfect or because they, like me, feel a bit guilty about having been away.
Ashes are kneaded into my forehead, I pray, I kneel, I sing, I receive Communion, I recess, and I go home. It is after I receive my ashes that I look at the foreheads of the parishioners and try to guess from whom did they receive their ashes — the main priest or the smaller guy off to the side. I am confused and relieved to be Catholic at this moment, because I like having somewhere to go and be thoughtful about spiritual things, and I like the rites, the tradition that changes so little that I could have attended the Polish-language service and been able to hold my own.
For March 3, 2006, day 3 of “the 30 days of jasmine”, feel free to check out the iTunes playlist I put together (link is below). Buy it if you like, and give it a listen while you put together a favorite meal of mine:
- * Jamaican beef patties
* mixed baby green salad after the one served at Pizza Capri (mesclun greens, crumbled gorgonzola, raspberries, roasted pecans, sliced granny smith apples, raspberry vinaigrette
* my dad’s sinigang (he doesn’t have his recipe written down, so try this one from Mama Sita Sauces and Mixes)
* small ice cream sundae with homemade marshmallow sauce (like the ones served at Eddie’s Sweet Shop)
- <a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPublishedPlaylist?id=73172
7&s=143441″>the 30 days of jasmine – day 3 playlist
- In less than a week, cycle 2 of Project Runway will be saying “Auf wiedersehen”
Eat at Adobo Express (just got a great review in the Trib — props to Monica Eng for recognizing the tastiness of my people’s cuisine)
*some sweet-ass stuff from pnoyapparel.com*