Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nine Nights

Sure, it won't be news for many here, but as anyone who knows it is well-aware, American Catholicism's dominant Latin tradition of our time prides itself on having something for everybody... even the Anglos who'd prefer to ignore it.

Along those lines, with nine nights remaining until what's become the faith's biggest feast on this side of the border, two aspects -- at least, among many others -- of the Guadalupe "Super Bowl" tend to be overlooked among the chattering classes.

For starters, it's arguably the global church's most-prominent instance of ad orientem worship...

...and, for the other side, one often led by women:

y un otro...

Indeed, gang, something for everybody -- even the dormant... or, demographically speaking, the dead.

As the annual feast-week influx (usually numbering around 7 million pilgrims each year) begins to converge on the Tepeyac Shrine in Mexico City, on this side of the border the yearly round of mass-celebrations for the "Empress of the Americas" likewise gets underway this weekend in no shortage of venues, the biggest of them -- at least, until the 12th Itself -- coming again on Sunday with the annual procession of some 40,000 Guadalupanos through East Los Angeles, culminating with an outdoor Stadium Eucharist.

In a historic twist, however, in his final year at the helm the city's cardinal-archbishop will be absent from this year's East LA fiesta, leaving its celebration duties to his Mexican-born successor at the helm of the largest diocese the Stateside church has ever known -- 5 million members in all... nearly three-fourths of them Hispanic.

Que baile el futuro de la iglesia del norte: