On December 12th churches and organizations worldwide celebrate and pay respect to Latin America’s very own Virgin of Guadalupe.  The celebrations usually contain of masses, feasts, and live music/events.  After a little research, I even found out that there are sometimes large parades that they hold in celebration.  On Saturday I attended a mass in honor of Guadalupe at Queen of Peace church in Madison.  To find out about this event, I called my parents back home and asked them if they could help me find any masses going on in Madison and they told me they found one at my Great Uncle’s church, Queen of Peace, where they would be having a mass and feast following the mass. 

As I arrived, I noticed that more than the majority of the people there were of some sort of Latin American race.  I was not alone though, for there were a few of adults that were there probably just to experience the Latin American mass like me.  The mass to honor the “lady of Guadalupe” was opened by a Spanish-speaking priest, but there were bibles/readings put in both Spanish in English for attendants like me to follow along.  The mass was surprisingly packed and I had to stand the entire time in the back.  The mass was very different from what I’m accustomed to at my hometown church, which was to be expected.  I’ve heard that this mass is very lively, while the catholic masses I’ve attended regularly throughout my life have been seen more as strict, formal, and serious.  Everyone was dressed pretty formal, but there was plenty of sing-a-longs and even live music going on that I usually do not see at my church.  The mass lasted a little over an hour and the key to the mass was when the participants were lined up to walk up and touch a Virgin of Guadalupe shrine/figure as they said a quick prayer to themselves.  I noticed that some even kissed the shrine.  The mass was very different to me, but it was what I expected from it and I enjoyed it despite the trouble to understand what was going on, I really enjoyed how ecstatic all the Spanish participants appeared to be at this mass.

The mass was followed upon by a meal in a separate hall connected to the church, in which I did not stay to eat, but I saw they were serving Chicken, rice, and what I think were tamales. 

This event relates to the point in class where we discussed the importance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Latin American community.  The virgin of Guadalupe is one of the most sacred figures in Latin America, seen much like the Virgin of Mary to northern Americans.  I would recommend attending a mass or celebration next year, just to experience something not every ‘non-Hispanic’ gets to experience.