Mass

The largest Roman Catholic church in North America is here in Washington DC. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is also one of the top 10 largest churches in the world. Haley and I decided it would be a good cultural experience to go to Easter Mass last Saturday night and experience mass (well, The Easter Vigil technically), especially at such a beautiful church on such a special occasion.


Nuns!
Here I am before we went inside, looking forward to starting the Easter celebration early.
We didn't realize we'd be there for almost 2 1/2 hours. I've been to a Eucharist before, but this was a different experience. The lights were turned off for a small period of time and we all lit candles which was pretty cool. A man walked around throwing spoonfulls of water on the congregation. There was a lot of incense used. There is a lot of standing and kneeling. It's a little hard to stay focused with all of the readings and songs going on straight for such a long period of time, but it's possible. All of the people we were surrounded by were very friendly and nice. It was a quite different from what I am used to, but it was neat to see and experience how other people worship.
The inside is absolutely gorgeous. These pictures do it no justice.
Here's a picture of it at night. This picture doesn't fully capture the beauty of it, but it's really stunning.
If you read this far you get to know that we saw Newt Gingrich at mass! Haley knows her politicians really well and she saw him sitting in his white escalade as we were walking in and pointed him out to me. Well, as we were leaving mass she saw him again and said to him, "I know who you are!" He said, "Hi, I'm Newt Gingrich, nice to see you." He was Time Magazine's person of the year in 1995. This is borderline stalkerish, but I took a picture of his car. Haley didn't want to bother him by asking for a picture with him, but we wanted some documentation of seeing him.
Peace be with you.

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