I know I said on my last post that it would be the last one from Yokosuka, but I decided to stop by the Internet cafe for half an hour and I had next to no e-mail, so I have a little time to kill.
Mom, this one's for you.
I just came back from Mass. I actually made it on the right day and at the right time. English masses are interesting in Japan. I went to one last time I was here (in Isesaki), and this one was along the same lines - English Mass with Tagalog songs. Other than the priest (an Italian), one or two Japanese people, one guy from the base, and myself, the entire congragation was Pilipino. The service pretty much follows the same proceedure as those in the States (and I assume Catholic churches everywhere), with the usual routine of stand, sit, kneel - but it seemed there was a lot less kneeling in this service. This is probably because there was no padded fold-down knee cushion.
It was a wonderful experience, and I was glad to stop in and say a few prayers for all the people I have known over the years, especially those who have done so much for me in recent years. Just to let you know, Mom, Dad, and Ross - you guys got special prayers directed your way. Maiko, I also prayed for you to have safe travels.
If you are reading this, chances are you were in my prayers as well. God bless.
Anyway, I have to head back to the apartment now. I am done packing, but I need to eat and clean up the apartment a little before heading out. I will be out of Yokosuka in four hours. I will miss this place for sure, but I know I will be back some day, so until then... See ya, Yokosuka!
UPDATE: I forgot to write about one particular characteristic of Mass in Japan that I thought was really nice. When taking communion in a Catholic church, those of us who are not "official" Catholics are not supposed to partake in communion. Since I had talked to the priest the week before he knew my situation, but he came up to me before the service and told me in Japan to get in that line anyway, just don't take communion. When it is your turn, he simply says a blessing for you. I think this is a neat way of including those of us moved by the service who are not actual "members" of the church. God bless you father, and thank you.