22 July 2012

Church of the Incarnation

So, as I may or may not have mentioned before, I'm working now towards the end of the Capitol Catholic project. Thanks to my laziness in previous semesters, most of the churches left on my list are pretty hard to get to, either far from Metro stations or in distant parts of the city. Today's church, Incarnation, was no exception.

Incarnation was formed in 1914, one of the original black parishes in the district. It was formed for the rural community of Deanwood and its new church, built in 1959, rests on Eastern Avenue in Northeast DC. Eastern Avenue is the dividing line between the District of Columbia and Maryland, and Incarnation is one of three parishes that lie directly on the border between DC and Maryland. As I walked to church on Eastern, I saw DC license plates on one side of the street and Maryland licenses on the other.

It took me a while to get out to Incarnation, and I ended up showing up to the Mass about half an hour late. I was treated to a nice, mellow Mass, with a few Gospel hymns thrown in by a small ensemble. My favorite was "Oh Lord, I Want You to Help Me," done by the bassist and the pianist.

01 July 2012

Nuestra Senora Reina de las Americas (Our Lady Queen of the Americas)

At long last, I'm back in Washington after a semester in Ecuador and a short visit to my family and friends in California. With my senior year approaching, I decided to re-focus myself and finish the Capitol Catholic project, which I have dedicated so much time and effort to over the last couple years. I made a list and there's 13 churches left for me to visit. I'm excited to get working and am hoping to finish the project by the end of the fall semester.

My visit today was to Our Lady, Queen of the Americas Parish. They're located in a neighborhood northwest of DuPont circle, close to Sheridan Circle and Embassy Row. They do most of their Masses in Spanish, which was fine by me, since I've been looking for opportunities to practice the Spanish I've learned in Ecuador.

The parish doesn't have a typical church building, they have a three floor brick building which also doubles as a parish hall and a language school. The worship space was on the third floor, and was brightly colored. The walls were mostly a turquoise-y green and complemented with a salmon-y pink. There was also some crazy-bright colored stained glass on the right side of the church. I didn't take notes during the sermon today, but the Gospel reading was about Jesus curing a dying woman, so the priest offered a blessing of the sick.