Christmas in Cordoba

Christmas Caroling in the Nursing Home with Youth from the Casita de los Jovenes

Two days before Christmas we had the opportunity to visit some of the nursing homes in Cordoba to sing Christmas Carols with the residents.  We went with Padre Pedro, Padre Pablo and several of the youth from the Youth House.  The four of us girls, loving to sing as much as we do, were ready to give it our all and sing our little hearts out…little did we know that Spanish Christmas carols are completely different from ours!  We were thinking they would be the same with the words translated…not so much!  As we fumbled through the papers looking for the unrecognizable songs being sung, we started realizing what the others were saying…”but look at how the fish drink in the river…but look at how they drink because they saw God’s birth…drinking and drinking and drinking some more…the fish in the river, because they saw the birth of God.”  Now, it does rhyme in Spanish…but…hmmm.  With much laughter, that song quickly became our favorite.

As we talked to the priests about the difference between their Christmas Carols and ours…you have to admit that Silent Night and Joy to the World are a little better at, I don’t know, capturing the mystery of Christmas and the birth of Christ…the priests explained that their Christmas Carols tend to be much more lively and loud because traditionally they would be sung throughout the all night vigil of Christmas Eve.  They needed to keep the people awake, so they would use castanets, tambourines and lots of noise makers as they sang.  Padre Pablo, after much reflection added with a smile, that the song about the fish shows how all of creation gives Glory to God just by doing what He created them to do!  Hmmm…that’s very Franciscan of him…but I still don’t really understand why it’s in a Christmas Carol!

We had a great day and were immensely blessed by the joy of the residents.

Christmas Eve with our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Christmas Eve we were invited to eat the traditional “Noche Buena” three course meal with Padre Gama’s family in Montilla.  After dinner we rushed back to Cordoba for the “Misa del Gallo” midnight Mass.  Padre Jose had offered to celebrate a special Mass us, in which we could sing all the songs and Mass parts in English, write the petitions, etc.  He said he would invite other people as well, but even if it was just the  four of us and him, he was happy to celebrate the special Mass for us so that our Christmas could be more familiar and homey.  We were shocked when we arrived and found that our little intimate Mass was now being moved from the chapel to the big church because over 75 people had showed up!  The Mass was beautiful, and no one seemed to mind that the music was in English.  We finished up the night with Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel and headed home for a short night of sleep!

Singing for Christmas Eve Midnight Mass

Christmas Day in Cadiz

Christmas morning, bright and early…ok, 9:30am isn’t oh so bright and early, but after the 3am arrival at home…we were all dragging a bit as we packed our bags and headed south to Cadiz to spend a few days with our friends, Marcos and Kate, and Kate’s British family.  It was wonderful to be in a family home, cozy and comfortable while it poured down rain outside.  We finally ventured out one evening to go bowling…our first time here in Spain!  We had a blast even though I wouldn’t say that any one of us could be described as a stellar bowler.  However, we did rock those shoes…velcro and all!

Laughing…it’s what we do BEST!

I don’t remember what we were laughing about…but it was funny.

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~ by martinsonmission on January 12, 2010.

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