Kathy and I went to the late morning worship at the Lutheran Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) in Dresden this morning. We have attended worship in many beautiful worship centers across Europe–the Seville Cathedral, Notre Dame in Paris, the Castle Church in Wittenberg, for instance. It was nice to be able to walk out the door of our apartment and into the door of the Frauenkirche in three minutes. The bells pealed for ten solid minutes before service began in this massive church. I quickly noticed how you could tell visitors from members–the members go to their seat and stand and pray before sitting. The church was decently full. You cannot help but look upward in the church. The light green and blue and white and gold altar extends skyward for over 100 feet. The statuary on the altar move the eye upward. Moses and the Apostle Peter are on the left of Jesus (depicted in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane) and a host of angels and the Apostle Paul and King David are to the right. Above Jesus is a massive golden burst of sun. At the top of the altar is the beautiful gold and white pipe organ adorned with angels playing trumpets. Above the entire seating area, which is in seven levels, is the bell dome, 311 feet above the main floor. It depicts events in the life of Christ in painting surrounded by pink and blue.
The service began with organ, brass, and percussion playing Bach–majestic. The brass were up high beside the organ. The church reverberated. The Pastor entered wearing a black robe with a big white bifken (neck attachment with two streamers flowing downward). The liturgy was simple and short; the pastor chanted, and there were congregational responses. There was a baptism and a sermon, prayers and hymns–all in German. The people participated in the service. Since taxes support the church in Germany, offerings are not taken, as such. Nevertheless, we left an offering. All in all, the service was formal, but uncomplicated, with everything printed out in the service folder. At every church we have attended in Europe, the pastor is formal. The sermon is without emotion to any degree and seems like a lecture. We have yet to hear a laugh or a sigh. No thundering or moment of quiet. Just straight forward and with consistent delivery.
After worship, we went for a walk on this lovely day, another day the Lord hath made. WEG