2nd February 2008
The next morning, a Saturday, I decided to attend a special mass
commemorating the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. I was told
that there were to be 500 nuns present to celebrate the occasion
and that mass would be at 9.30 a.m
So I woke up extra early and trudged up the hill, taking advantage
of the rosary walk, with its little metal roses planted on the path
to say my rosary.
It was heartwarming to see Notre Dame welcoming me as I trudged
up the hill :)
When I got up to the church, I was greeted with a beautiful view.
the sun was breaking through the thick morning clouds lighting up
the sleepy town below. So I took a photo :)
There were people gathered at the back of the church where
I entered and some votive candles were being distributed.
I couldn’t understand what people were saying, since it was
all in French, but I managed to hold out my hand for a candle
and waited around with the rest of the people at the back for
the mass to begin.
Mass soon began with a procession down the middle aisle where
everyone carried their lit candles to place them by the altar.
I found a seat between two elderly ladies. It was so cute,
during the mass, that the French lady to my right was singing
ever so loudly and enthusiastically, as I shared the piece of paper
with song lyrics with her, and she sang, and looked at me,
as if to encourage me to sing along, and so I did, with whatever
I could muster of my non-existent French, I tried to echo her words
as she sang and she seemed to be enthusiastic in her encouragement
and smiled at me.
I wish I could have understood what was being said in the homily,
but at least when it came to the liturgy of the Eucharist,
I understood everything. That is the beauty of the Catholic, ie. universal church.
It was a beautiful mass, with the whole church singing along.
Very nice melodies too. The French composers have a knack for
a great melody, that’s never too simplistic or cliché;
but very memorable on the ear.
After mass, I made my way back to Villa Florentine and woke
Kavin up, and we got ready to leave Lyon for Paris.Bye Lyon....(that's St. George church in the middle)
We took a cab to the train station, bought some sandwiches,
‘Poulet Roti’ ie. roast chicken sandwich, some Evian water
and took the 2 hour ride to Paris.Cute sign on the train- silence that cell phonePretty clouds along the way
Then we took the Metro to get to the Hotel Des Academies et des Arts
Kavin had picked the hotel and was looking forward to staying in it.
The rooms were very tastefully furnished, albeit on the small side.The nice lotus flower decor on the wall.
We went to the nearby La Coupole for dinner on the concierge’s recommendation.
The place was packed but fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long
for a table. Kavin had the house special lamb curry
and I had the saucisson in bread, served with potato. It was yummy.Kavin trying to strike an artistic pose
There was a crepe-making station with a chef making crepes the whole
night. The waiter mentioned that it was a tradition to eat crepes
on this day, and only later when I went back to Google this shred
of information, did I find out that :
The Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on 2 February, is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus. In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or crêpe day.
Not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes on Chandeleur, but they also do a bit of fortune telling while making them. It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
So, we refrained from the vino, but for dessert, we shared a Crêpe Suzette,( ie. a typical French dessert, consisting of a crêpe with a hot sauce of caramelized sugar, orange juice, lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) on top, which is subsequently flambéed.)
It was superb. And since I forgot to take a photo of it,
Here’s a link to someone’s blog on the pancake day thingiehttp://bordeaux-undiscovered.blogspot.com/2008/02/pancake-day-crpes-wine-and-recipes.html
And more photos from the day are here
Labels: La Coupole, Lyon, Paris