Friday, May 20, 2011

Quem está entendendo?

So I just went to the Jesus Cristo e o Senhor Igreja Universal with Cleide, and I’m pretty sure they exorcised some people there. I also think I might have been anointed. There was this big glass flower vase looking thing full of oil. I thought the wine/bread thing was the standard, but apparently at this church it’s oil.

The whole thing was interesting, though. It quickly became clear that there were a lot of physical gestures that people were expected to make, and not only that but I understand enough Portuguese to know that there were explicit instructions to do them. Raise your hands, hands over your heart, eyes closed – that kind of thing. I went with omitting the hands up and doing the hands over your heart, because that seemed like less of a lie to me and I feel like even if you don’t really believe in God it’s probably not a good idea to mess around in His house. I closed my eyes about half the time, because once I realized they were going to sort of exorcise people I really wanted to watch. I was also never sure what to do every time he asked, “Quem está entendendo?” or “Who is understanding?” because I understood so little else except for him asking that question.

Afterwards a lady came up to me – she was affiliated with the church, although I’m not sure who she was – and welcomed me. I guess she noticed I was new, or something, hah. She asked if I wanted to talk with the pastor and I was sort of flabbergasted, because that seemed like a really nice gesture but I really didn’t want to at all. I did, however, say I might come back on Sunday. (I didn’t go back on Sunday. I went back about a week and a half later, though, and it was potentially even more confusing than this time.)

For a person who goes to church almost every day, Cleide was remarkably chill about this whole thing. She was very whatever about whether or not I wanted to come, and assured me that there was no problem with me not really being a churchgoing person. It was nice.

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