What's New

  • Worship shaped by values of deference and respect in Chuuk
    Posted: April 30, 2019 - 2:26pm

    Respect, the paramount value in Micronesian society, is communicated by deference: by speaking quietly and often lowering one’s eyes; by trying not to “stand above” another; or even trying not to stand out from the crowd. So it is at worship.

  • Lineage and gendered deference define traditional Chuukese family values
    Posted: April 30, 2019 - 12:02pm

    Lineage groups, not the Western nuclear family, have long been the most determinative family structure in Chuuk. Respect, deference and modesty are core cultural values. Respect is demonstrated through distance, deference, and silence.

  • Celebrating Easter twice: Holy Week in a Palestinian Village
    Posted: April 25, 2019 - 11:33am

    Easter is the most important feast for Palestinian Christians, and is celebrated in a particularly Palestinian way. In the Christian village of Taybeh, Holy Week is a time of unity.

  • Mourning, burying the dead bring community together in Yap
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 1:10pm

    Funerals serve a highly valued communal function, as the ritual occasion designed in significant part to make families put aside differences and come together in reconciliation.

  • Yapese gender roles influence Catholic belief and practice
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 12:40pm

    Though the rules may differ from island to island—Yap proper is traditionally a patrilineal society, whereas Outer Islanders’ cultures, like most of the rest of Micronesia, are traditionally matrilineal—the rules are clear and indisputable. Catholics adaptations of traditional cultural practices into worship give women, rather than men, added, prominent roles at the holiest moments of the church year.

  • Respect and restraint in worship are cultural values in Yap, Micronesia
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 11:02am

    The style of Yapese liturgy is modest and self-controlled. For Yapese, standing is not a sign of respect or reverence. Neither is kneeling. Putting oneself low is a sign of respect, so sitting on the floor through Mass is the standard form of modesty and respect for many worshippers.

  • Women in Yap dance at Easter for the 'Light that lights up the world'
    Posted: April 19, 2019 - 9:29am

    At both Christmas and Easter liturgies, dance is incorporated into Catholic worship, to communicate the importance of these days and to help tell the stories behind them. Yapese Catholics spoke about these dances as means to communicate what’s most sacred and deep about the Christian story in their own language and mode of expression.

  • Doloolow: Women in Yap wail over the suffering of Christ on Good Friday
    Posted: April 18, 2019 - 10:26am

    One of the most distinctive ritual experiences of Yapese Catholicism is a ritual wherein women sit around the image of Christ on the Cross and wail to recount and mourn Jesus’ Passion. Its expressive power is matched in few Catholic contexts.

  • Holy Week in Yap marked by wailing, dancing, flowers, and thanksgiving
    Posted: April 16, 2019 - 11:05am

    As is true anywhere, Holy Week is a time of intense liturgical activity in Yap. The liturgy follows the normal Catholic form, augmented by two especially interesting rituals, the doloolow, a mourning ritual at the Cross on Good Friday, and the thanksgiving dance for the Easter vigil.

  • Cultural traditions and Catholicism guide life on Yap, Micronesia
    Posted: April 15, 2019 - 12:54pm

    Yap is the most heavily Catholic of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia. Though this account concerns a quite small community of people compared to the world’s billion-plus Catholics, the ways that Yapese culture interacts with Catholicism are intriguing.


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