Church Service in Lesotho

Last weekend we got to attend a local Catholic church service with some of our host families from our home stays.  Many of the women in our group were lent traditional dresses to wear, similar to prairie dresses.  As we began to set out for church, one of the women in the community saw that some of us were not wearing the traditional dresses, so we were quickly ushered into her house and put into dresses.  Five minutes later we were back on the path walking to church, wearing long heavy dresses with blankets over our shoulders as shawls.  After the service I had a couple of women come up to me saying how proud they were of Lesotho and how happy they were that we were wearing the traditional dresses.

The church service itself was like a celebration.  A choir made up of young men sat in the first few pews and led singing accompanied with movement and dancing.  Towards the end of the service there was a particularly enthusiastic song, and throughout the sanctuary we heard sporadic high-pitched yelling noises made with the tongue and whistling made by women that added to the spirit of the music.  We were warmly welcomed by everybody in the church, and throughout the service it was apparent that the Holy Spirit was present among the people.

Leah Bartel