Tuesday September 7, 2021
A Typical Sunday
On Sundays, I usually celebrate three Masses—the schedule, 7:00am, 9:00am, and 11:00am, remains the same wherever I go.
Last Sunday, I left the house at 6:30am (temperature 58̊ F) to travel to Rianyagemi outstation, a drive of twenty-five minutes on a dirt road that was in good condition. A road grader recently had been over the area fixing many of the potholes and smoothing the ruts. The catechist and the chairman of the outstation eagerly greeted me and welcomed me as we prepared for Mass. When Mass did start, there were seventeen people, most of them in the choir. Although small, the choir did a very good job in leading the music. By the end of Mass, the church was nearly full with about 150 people, the last of whom arrived during the praying of the Our Father before the reception of Holy Communion. After Mass, I took time to bless people who came forward for an individual blessing, requesting that I pray for a particular need they may have. This is a joyful time for me as I am able to ask questions about their family and shamba.
A fifteen-minute drive found me at Kebuko outstation. (Pictures are of the outside and inside of this church.) Again, the catechist eagerly welcomed me. The choir was practicing as the altar was prepared. Twenty-five people were present when Mass started and the end of the homily the church had about 100 people. As usual, I celebrated the Mass in Ekegusii, the mother tongue, and preached in Kiswahili. Maybe twenty people came forward for Holy Communion. After Mass, I blessed water that people brought in containers. I have found that Kenyan really use Holy Water in their homes and mashamba. The Mass lasted just over an hour.
The final Mass was at Riamisiani, another fifteen-minute drive. I was early and welcomed by the catechist and several people, and the small church was full with about 50 people—about twenty more came by 11:15am. We prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary that was led by the catechist in the mother tongue. I know the ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Glory Be’ from memory, but I struggle with the ‘Our Father’ and have a long way to go on the ‘Creed’ in Ekegusii. The small choir led the singing, and the entire community sang with vigor. Six teenage girls were dancing. For the Prayers of Intercession, typically five or six people come forward to voice intercessions, usually in the mother tongue, although some express the petitions in Kiswahili or English. These prayers are lengthy, containing many expressions of gratitude and praise to God along with intercessions—I did time one intercession—it was two minutes. This small church is named St. David. After Mass, I spent time blessing water and people and was then invited to a house for lunch which consisted of ugali, mboga, and eggs.
I was warm and tired upon arrival at home at 1:30pm (temperature 78̊ F) ready for a good nap that was duly taken.