Holy Week Extravaganza

It has been a crazy holy week here in Bolivia…here’s what we’ve been up to.

Early in the Week
We had classes as normal Monday-Wednesday, however, Tuesday night I got really nauseous during class (I think it was something I ate) and was sick on my back all day Wednesday.  Luckily I was feeling pretty much better by Wednesday night (24hrs) and except for being a bit tired was back to normal Thursday.

Holy Thursday
While I was resting up Thursday afternoon, Laura went to help decorate the church for mass that night.  She was the one in charge of getting Mary dressed up:

Mass went well, the feet-washing was a performance of the last supper.  They dressed the priest in simple clothes and had 12 young men, dressed up as apostles whose feet he washed.

Finally, we cleared the alter and moved to a side chapel that we built for the evening.  Here we had an exposition and people prayed long into the night.   Here’s Laura reenacting afterwards:

Good Friday
Good Friday’s service in Bolivia is a long event (even longer than the Vigil), mostly because towards the end of the service (which includes a reenactment play of the passion) we all get up and go outside for a couple mile long stations of the cross.  After this we all return into the church to finish the service by seeing Jesus inside a tomb built into a 15ft. tall (permanent) mountain.

During the stations of the cross, we (about 2000 people) walk from station to station saying prayers and singing hymns.  At each station, we stop and and the same group that acted out the passion in the church acts out that station on the back of a flat-bed truck.  As we walk we are lead by the Mary statue (that Laura dressed up the day before) and a statue of Jesus which is kept in a glass coffin:

One of the stations, setup by the girls at the orphanage:

Holy Saturday
What can I say, a HUGE bonfire (~10ft tall) to start it off.  Fireworks during the gloria.  Everybody bringing their own water to be blessed (to have holy water in their homes).  Lots of praying, now off to bed…our Easter Sunday starts with a march at 4AM!


2 thoughts on “Holy Week Extravaganza

  1. Sounds like an awesome Holy Week to me! We’ve got the refined Latin thing down here at the seminary, but we lack a little of the raw energy I imagine only 2000 people and a bonfire can give.
    Hope you two are well, you’ve been in my prayers! Thanks to Hannah for telling me to read the blog.


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