Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cultural differences part 4

Okay, it's not solely a Spanish cultural difference, so this post is slightly mis-titled.  But on Sunday I went to Spanish-speaking church with a friend I had made at the UAM (wahoo for friend making!! :D).  During service, I realized that they were observing communion this week at this particular church, and I didn't think too much of it.

Every church does communion a little differently, and that much I expected.  The bread, signifying the body of Jesus, was slightly different from what I'm used to, but that was nothing in comparison to the little gift of surprise that was to follow.  When the little plastic cups of "wine" signifying the blood of Jesus Christ came around, I was a little confused because the color of the liquid was not the color of grape juice, which is what I've grown up with, or even wine!  It was the color of apple juice.  So my natural thought process was:
"Well, this is a strange color.  Oh, do they use real wine instead? No, that is not the color of wine.  Hm, I wonder if grape juice is expensive in Spain.  Probably so, and if so, they probably just substituted it with some other juice.  They didn't fill the cups all the way either, so they must be trying to conserve money Well judging by the color, it seems like they used apple juice.  How strange, but I guess in the end what type of juice doesn't really matter."  
 (That's a glimpse of Angela's very strange an rapid thought process for you.)

The usher told me that here we drink it right away and put the cups back onto the tray, so not thinking too much about it, I threw the liquid into my mouth, and boy, was I surprised.  It was neither grape nor apple juice.  Quite honestly, I still don't know what it was, but it was a surprise indeed.  It was sweet and bitter, and warm while giving little jabs while going down my throat.  My eyes probably went O.O for the first time while taking communion.

You ask, why were you so surprised?  See, the reason to why my guard was down was because last Sunday, I went to a different church, and they had communion too.  I suspected the "wine" part to be actual wine since wine is a no biggie in Spain, but it was grape juice.  So I thought Spanish churches were like the American ones and used grape juice.  Hence the element of surprise this past Sunday when it turned out to be something very different from grape juice.

Back in the US I have never had anything but grape juice for communion, but I know that some do use real wine.  That's why I said that it's not a Spanish cultural difference per se, but still a difference nonetheless.  Yay for new experiences.


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