Sunday, 24 November 2019

DAY 9 TUESDAY CUZCO ‘Asisto a misa a las 7 am’

I rose early to take Mass in the Cathedral. 
Siting inside by the main door with an official of the Cathedral, waiting for the 6:30 mass to finish. The organ boomed out as part of the service.
The official leaned over and said to me with a “Quechuan music”.  I had my voice recorder ready and so captured most of this lovely sound. It was curious sound, bouncy with a celebratory feel.

The cathedral of architectural confections

The mass, in Spanish, followed the conventions of the Rite so I was able to follow and enjoy the service. Afterwards, to the side of the High Altar, with the rest of the congregation, we gathered round the Priest, he waved his aspergilium over us dispensing a blessing of holy water. 

(Altitude sickness struck yesterday manifesting as a sleepless night and shortness of breath. I drink a lot cocoa leaf tea and move very slowly. 

Later in the day I visited the main square, made a drawing of the cathedral’s upper facade getting this Gothic-Renaissance-Baroque architectural ‘mash-up’ down on paper was a challenge.

Base camp for Jesuit Order’s colonisation
Adjacent to the Cathedral was the Jesuit Church. This was base camp for Jesuit Order’s colonisation Eastwards of here. Each settlement was marked with some remarkable architecture, a Baroque blow-out! 

This church in Cuzco, La Compañía de Jesus, was built in 1571 and rebuilt in after the earthquake of 1650. 
As the guide leaflet informs
‘They (the Jesuit architects) left behind the austerity and modesty and instead opted for the grandeur of the Baroque’.
Amen to that says I. Lovely gold and guilt dripped from every ledge, crevice and surface. The main altar is 21 by 12 meters wide, fashioned in wood and covered in gold leaf, it the largest alter piece in Peru.

I left the La Compañía de Jesus completely overawed and overlaying this experience with taking Mass in the morning, I was a little envious of this country’s disposition towards and manifestations of it’s Christianity.

Altitude sickness continues with loss of appetite added to my symptoms, forcing me to abandon most of my suppertime Pizza.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim