Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

July 20, 2013

PLACES OF WORSHIP IN SPANISH AMERICA - CULTURAL DIFFERENCES



WELCOME TO THIS POST!



A BUNCH OF BEAUTIFUL CHRYSANTHEMUMS FOR MY READERS.


THEY COULD BE USED TO DECORATE AN ALTAR!






 Click to enlarge


Source: Pixabay, Public Domain



This is a Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) Blog Hop Post!


The prompt for this Friday is as follows:


“In church (place of worship) I learnt to… accept multiple forms of reverence”



PLACES OF WORSHIP IN SPANISH AMERICA – CULTURAL DIFFERENCES



That vast area of the world that we now know as Spanish America has experienced various historical eras that have influenced and been influenced by various forms of worship. 


The pre-Columbian period saw various cultures come and go, also important empires that rose, matured and then declined.


After the Spanish conquest an extremely strong predominance of the Roman Catholic Church was introduced. 


In fact, the Spanish authorities did their best to stamp out all manifestations of the so called “heathen” devotional practices. 


This was definitely unfortunate, as many priceless works of art and fabulous buildings were destroyed or raised to the ground.


Following the typical growing pains of a process such as this, at present there is something of a mixture that shows a really great variety, with many world wide tendencies taking their place on the landscape.  


Thus we have ceremonial practices of the original native inhabitants, combined with Roman Catholic worship under the authority of a still strong Roman Catholic Church, a growing current of non Catholic streams known under the generic name of “evangelicals” and many non Christian forms of worship too.



MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND THOUGHTS.



A PHOTO OF THE ST JOHN’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, CONCEPCION.






This photo is in the Public Domain, and I used it on an article posted on Hubpages, referring to the Battle of Coronel, WW1.



Source: Archives, Public Domain



As a member of the St John’s Anglican Church in Concepcion, Chile, I am considered to be an “evangelical”. 

My Granny Madge set the tone of our family worship, as she was brought up in an extremely strict and conservative household of Scottish Presbyterians.


When I was a child, I was taught that austerity was next to Godliness, and that the highly decorated ambience of a Roman Catholic Church was not in the best taste as far as worshipful practices were concerned.


In fact, we “evangelicals” could consider ourselves slightly superior in having eliminated all those statues, crucifixes and effigies. 


As for the proliferation of Virgins, well that was just something incomprehensible, especially when you consider that just recently the 16th of July was a National Holiday in Chile because it is the Holy day of those ladies called Carmen, and the “Virgen del Carmen” is the patron Saint of the Chilean armed forces!



MY PRESENT DAY FOCUS.



Well, those days are long past for me. My family is all gone, and I’ve had time to meditate on these topics. 


I love the atmosphere of our small Church here in Concepcion; it provides a lovely feeling due to the harmonious proportions of the building. 


I have sat there in repose and really felt the presence of a Supreme Being.


But is this the only place that contains that feeling? No, indeed not.


I can appreciate that for some people, the decorations of a Roman Catholic Cathedral are a symbol of reverence in the presence of that same Superior Being.



ALTAR DE ORO, PANAMA

 

 Click to enlarge

 Source: ADelBarrio B, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


(See my previous Blog post on the Altar of Gold)



IGLESIA DE LA COMPAÑIA, QUITO, ECUADOR

 

 Click to enlarge

 Source: putneymark, CC BY SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons


(See my previous Blog post on Quito, Ecuador)



I can also feel the reverence of the Andean peoples, who considered that certain high mountain peaks were sacred, and revered them. 


I can now identify with the feelings of reverence during the Mapuche Ceremony of the New Year, which takes place at the Winter Solstice (month of June) here in Concepcion. They use the waterfall that is part of our large public park, and the ceremony is at midnight. 


(The Mapuche are our Native inhabitants in this region of Chile)


In short, there are many ways and ambiences used by the different cultures to express their spiritual beliefs and to make contact with that Supreme Being that each of the cultural groups reveres.


There is no “best way” here; all these variations are perfectly valid.


That is what I have learnt through my practice, my meditations and my studies.


I’m happy with this conclusion; I feel that I may have last achieved maturity in my understanding of these topics.


What do you think?



A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME MORE THEMES FROM MY WRITINGS.


 THE PYRAMID OF THE SUN AT TEOTIHUACAN -  MEXICO


Click to enlarge

Source: Xicoamax, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons



THE TEMPLE OF KALASASAYA, TIWANAKU - BOLIVIA




Click to enlarge


Source: Marc Davis, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commona



EL CASTILLO, THE MAGNIFICENT MAYA PYRAMID AT CHICHEN ITZA

 Click to enlarge


Source:  Manuel de Corselas, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons



THE INTIHUATANA, PLACED IN FRONT OF HUAYNA PICCHU AT MACHU PICCHU, PERU



Click to enlarge



Source: McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons 


These last four are related to some of my previous Blog posts

The Intihuatana at Machu Picchu is by far my favorite, it was designed to replicate the sacred peak that is behind it! Beautiful!




FINAL WORDS



Due to the nature of this topic, I will not be including the Spanish Version as I usually do.

This post is more of a personal reflection which I hope you have found interesting!
 



© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)





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