Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Angels, Polyphony, and Lots and Lots of Glitter

This is why Catholics don't need shiny televangelists.

The audience (congregation?) packed into the pews and galleries where no air has moved for two hours roar their applause and shout: "Long live the mother of God!" Some cry, some make the sign of the cross; the rest drop their fluttering fans (which have made the church look like home to a host of giant butterflies), drip sweat and clap loud and fast.

This religious drama, known as the Misteri d'Elx, is a wondrous example of Catholic Spain's sensual celebrations of its religion. Its origins are as mysterious as its name. History says that it dates from the end of the 15th century. But folklore says that in May 1266 a chest washed up on a beach near Elche was found to contain both a statue of the Virgin of the Assumption and the consueta, a book containing the text (in the language of Valencia) and music of a play telling of Mary's death and miraculous ascent into heaven.

You've gotta love this stuff...

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