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Monday, 11 May 2009

Nothing is impossible for the one who has faith

Last Sunday Mausi's youngest niece, Emma, was confirmed in the Markuskirche.It was built in the early 20th century and the layout had to fit the site. It is basically a rectangular shape but the vaulting inside lets it appear almost circular. Originally it was fitted with a High Altar (in the true sense of the word) and wooden pews. The church took some bad hits during WW II and was extensively restored afterwards. The pews were replaced by more comfortable chairs and the original altar by a more simple altar table. As many other churches the Markuskirche is struggling because fewer and fewer people attend the services there. The chairs only fill half of its vast space. But for the confirmation it was packed with people. Families and friends of 33 candidates were quickly filling the place. Most of us had to sit on folding chairs.

Nevermind, the folding chairs turned out to be quite comfortable. And the service was certainly a very interesting one. It was conducted by the parish priest and a deacon, which is a lay person in Germany. Three of the confirmands from last year also took part in it reading psalms and prayers.

One of them was Emmas sister. One of Emma's godmothers is a musician and she and her husband played several duetts (mandolin and guitar) during the service which sounded in extremely well in the church.

During his sermon the priest touched on how the confirmands had prepared forthis day. In Germany Lutherans undergo up to two years of teaching and
preparation. During this the confirmands had to draw a line which represented their life. Then they had to write down their ups downs and comment on where God had been for them in those moments, rather close or far away. Quite an
interesting exercise.

Each confirmand chooses a saying with which he or she is admitted into the Lutheran community. The favourite one this year was obviously "Nichts ist unmöglich dem der glaubt" (nothing is impossible for the one who has faith).

The servide ended with taking communion. The confirmands were called forward in groups of six or sevens and the respective friends and families were invited to come forward as well. We would all form a circle and were given the host and wine. The priest tried to discourage people from taking the host and dipping it into the chalice, saying, that this was not the idea of
sharing a meal. But he was not very successful.

The music during the service was mostly modern including a piece called "Nada te turbe". It is a Spanish song from the 16th century with a fairly simple melody but a syncopated rhythm which as well as the Spanish words made it difficult for the congregation to sing. There was only one traditional church song in the beginning which Mausi recognised but the rest was completely unknown to her and performed not by the organ but by a young group of musicians playing piano, bass and percussions and a girl that sang. They were quite good but Mausi had some difficulties taking communion while jazz-like music was played. It somehow sounded a bit out of character but then Mausi's own confirmation was ages ago. The main thing was that the young confirmands liked the service and that it was an experience for them which they are not likely to forget that soon.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Emma.

    And mandolin and guitar? That's heavenly in my book. As are those light fixtures.