Easter Sunday

Wayward Adventure
Mon 13 Apr 2009 20:11
      The "Bay of Virgins" at Fatu Hiva (pronounced Fatu Iva) has been described in France as the "most beautiful cove in the world" due to the sheer volcanic cliffs meeting the waters edge with intermittent waterfalls cascading down to the rocks below; for the record, I would like to add that St. Michel's Catholic Church located here in the village of Hanavave is perhaps the "most memorable place in the world to attend Easter mass" which Aaron and I did yesterday morning at 8:00am with Richard and his friend Dobby.
       After deciding what would be appropriate attire for Mass on a very humid Polynesian island, we set off in hopes of arriving early to catch the ukelele and guitar group practicing before the service began. Needless to say, we were not disappointed and to our surprise Dobby even strummed a few chords on the uke when it was offered to him ;- ) Mass began as we filed into the church with its lei covered statues and flower adorned alter and to my amazement, the people kept coming.....it seemed as though almost EVERY soul in the village had shown up for mass, about 100 or so people packed the small church or stood outside in the courtyard looking in through the open windows.
      The mass was said in Marquesan with the occasional hymn or responsorial in French, so we did not understand a thing; however, it was the music that spoke volumes and no language was necessary to feel or understand the rhythm and soul of the Marquesan music. With no "formal" choir of any sort, the people filled the church with their melodic voices, the men and women chanting together and then separately both in rhythm with the loud beating of the drums which seemed to reach inside of you and grab your heart as if you were not already paying attention.....it was truly a spiritual experience and one we will not soon forget!
Happy Belated Easter to all and lots of love!   ~LH