That's Good Friday to the English speaking world. We've just come home from our Good Friday Devotion at the Friedenskirch in Wiesbaden, and, as ever, it is moving and thought provoking. Last night's Maundy Thursday Eucharist was celebrated with the congregation seated round a table with the Host being passed from one to another with the words "Christi; Brot des lebens" and the wine was passed in jugs so that each person poured a small cupful for themselves. Again, the passing of the wine is accompanied by the words, "Christi; Kelch des Heiles."
Today's service, in complete contrast, took us through an abridged 'Stations of the Cross' with hymns and prayers between each. At the conclusion of the Stations each member of the congregation laid a small stone at the foot of the crucifix and spent a few moments in prayer and reflection at the foot of the Cross. Once again, the service is very moving and very reflective.
Harry accompanies us to church, unusual in Germany, but quite common in the UK and certainly in the Abbey. It has fascinated the congregation that he makes himself comfortable at our feet and watches the people arive, then settles to sleep as soon as the service starts. He seems to enjoy the organ and the singing and as long as he is with us and can see us, he's happy. The children in the congregation think it's great and make a fuss of him as soon as the service ends.
Somehow his presence adds, for me at least, a little touch of the real world and all God's creatures being present in worship. I find that comforting and humbling.