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one of the strangest things i’ve ever seen !!

December 18, 2014

Yesterday. 10 am live broadcast. Re-broadcast at 10 pm. Mountain Standard Time.

A large beautiful, ancient-looking room. Stained glass windows with many pictures, some of them gory. Men and women in the audience from many countries. Many men in audience wearing gold robes and sashes. A few men are in strange, primitive military garb, with big hats and bright yellow plumes.

Most women dressed conservatively, but otherwise normally. Except for the women in simple clothing wearing a variety of different head coverings.

Large altar as centerpiece, covered in a white cloth. Group of men sitting in special section to the left of the altar. These men wearing more fancy gold robes and sashes, and big, oddly shaped pointy hats.

Other robed men sitting in special section to right of altar. These men don’t have pointy hats, and their robes are white.

Man clothed similarly seated in place of honor, behind altar, flanked by two other men. Large marble altar with candles on it behind them. Above and behind them, statue of nearly naked and bleeding man nailed to cross. Other statues in various places in this large building.

People get up sit down kneel, get up again.

Men, one at a time, process about the room and up to podiums, holding a special book above their heads, followed by other men carrying ornate metal incense holders, which they swing about on chains. White incense smoke.

People from audience get up to read at podium from special book. Reading in different languages.

Honored man gets up to one of the podiums, sets up the book but before reading from it is handed the incense burner. He swings the burner on the chain in with a certain motion so the incense smoke wafts over the book. Then he reads from the book. Then he says something and the people in the audience say something back.

Later, gold chalices and bits of white flat bread are brought out. Honored man says some words, other people say some words. Honored man holds up big circle of bread. Another robed man rings some handheld bells. White flat bread is broken apart. More white flat bread made into little circles can be seen in little gold plates. Wine put into the cups. Honored man holds up cup of wine.

People come up in lines to eat the bread and drink from the same cup as many other people have drunk from. The cup is wiped with white cloth after each person has had a sip, but this still does not look hygienic.

After people have ate and drank, honored man is given impressive looking shepherd’s crook made out of various metals. He has his hat on again, pointy hat, then takes it off, still wearing his little skull cap. He says a few more things.

Service apparently reaching its end. People beginning to leave. People leaving bow toward the altar before exiting the large room.

Before leaving, men in special robe and pointy hat section bow down and kiss the cloth-covered altar before leaving. Each one of pointy hat men does this.

End of show.

This was not an Indiana Jones movie or some science fiction program.

What I watched was the installment of the new Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Boise.

I was watching this show, mostly the rebroadcast, on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the Catholic Cable channel. I watched because my relatives were watching, and because my room is next to the family room. Even if I’d not wanted to watch, I would have heard some of the show. And I was curious.

For me, although living with relatives who are former Protestants but who converted to Catholicism years ago, myself not being Catholic, all this looked very very strange and surreal.

In fact, this was one of the strangest things I have ever seen.

 

 

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