A friend invited me to join him at church last Sunday. I arrived on Saturday afternoon for a meal and a walk around the area. A beautiful location in the hills above Addis, views down over the city, eucalyptus forest around, with a big new church under construction. We went to the old church at 11 pm and the service had already been going on for two hours. The choir – if that’s the right word for the group of clergy accompanied by drums and holding prayer sticks – sang for eight hours without a break. We left when they finished at 5 am and slept for a couple of hours. After we went there was the Eucharist – called qidasse – for a further two hours. Then preaching outside broadcast through a loud speaker for an hour or so. I went back for the preaching and was amazed at the crowds, not only in the church and church yard but filling the streets around as well.
A fantastic experience -if just touch exhausting.