Sunday, May 31, 2009


RantWoman is reflecting on another blog entry about Pentecost:

RantWoman wants to write of her own experience with people speaking in tongues. For quite some time, RantWoman's Little Sister has been attending services at a neighborhood affiliate of an outfit called "La Iglesia de Dios Pentecostes.

La Iglesia de Dios... features the sort of humble laborers who clean everyone's houses and offices all week and at hours when the white world more commonly goes to church. After all this cleaning and shoveling, the parishioners get all cleaned up in their Sunday best and come hear the pastor tell them they are precious in God's sight. The pastor has a sort of barrel-chested delivery and air of certainty that reminds RantWoman in certain respects of her own Reverend Grandfather, may he rest in peace.

The parishioners, being in many cases not highly educated, also at times became mightily worshipful toward such gringas as can read in English and Spanish and know their ways around bureaucracies, and Little Sister benefited from this adulation through lots of muscle to help with moves, occasional pots of soup and other attentions for herself and the World's Most Irrepressible Nephew.

At La Iglesia...Pentecost lasts all year. The service proceeds, not surprisingly in Spanish. RantWoman can hold her own, but once or twice for some family reason RantMom has had occasion to worship there as well and someone will generally help interpret, well except for the prayers. At prayer time, everyone prays loudly, all at once about whatever but not the same thing. Many pray in tongues RantWoman has not been given the gift of understanding, a fact RantMom does not speak of but does exude body language of the "this is MUCH too weird" sort.

Imagine the further effect at the times when Little Sister has been indisposed and numbers of worshipers have paid house calls complete with Bible readings, worship, song and of course full-voiced prayer. They pray at length. They pray more than loudly enough for neighbors to be discomfited and ask to keep the volume down. They pray with total glorious un-self-conscious abandon. After all Pentecost lasts all year.

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