A few days ago I talked to a family friend (Ludwig) about Christianity and Easter. At the same time, I asked him what was going on at such a service and he invited me to church. He said that he would like to pick me up on Monday (today) at 9 o’clock and we can go there together and I can watch such a service.
I do not know the exact names of all the practices and objects but will still try to write down my experience.
This morning he was there and we went together to the church of St. Peter and Paul. One more cigarette before we go in and we could start …
We went in and Ludwig went to a water tank in the back of the church where he dipped three or two fingertips into the water and touched his forehead first with his shoulders behind each other. Then Ludwig took a book. I thought that was the Bible but it was a hymnal.
Then we went to the benches and when we arrived in our series Ludwig first went briefly on his knees and we sat down. You could hear the church bells ring after a short time.
I was sitting right in the middle of the bench. Gears went to the left and right of me. In front was the altar, which could be climbed with a few steps. Behind the altar was a huge painting of Jesus. Angels were painted left and right of Jesus. Next to the painting were panels that serve to indicate the number of the singing, which is being sung.
The priest is coming
When the priest came in, everyone got up. I stayed quiet throughout the service and did not participate. Finally, I was just there to watch.
As the priest then arrived at the “altar?” they sung together and then the guests were greeted by the priest and they were then asked to take a seat and everyone sat down.
Jesus is among us
The priest said after some prayers that Jesus was risen and is among us at that moment. He has said that all believing Christians there believe that Jesus was risen and is among them, and he was asked to forgive the sins and to give patience.
I knew that Jesus plays a big role in the Christian religion, but I was unaware that he plays such a great role, that he is given the quality of resurrection in our time and the ability to forgive sins.
The story of Easter
The priest once again told the story of Easter. That Jesus was crucified and after that, the tomb was empty. After that his companions recognized him breaking his bread.
After the story was refreshed again, the children were asked to the front. It was then tried to explain to the children why Jesus’ friends did not recognize him directly but only recognized him while he was breaking bread. I tried to understand it but unfortunately I did not.
What I noticed most is the songs. Although I knew that singing in a church but did not know that so much is sung. It was repeatedly raised, sung, sat down and got up again and sang again and sat down again.
I think this practice is very nice. It sounds very nice in the ear and I think strengthens also the community thinking.
I do not know exactly what the bread is called but the priest prayed a little and then held a container up with water. Each time it was held up, they played a sound like the stardust sound through the speakers.
After this practice was over, everyone went forward in turn and got a piece of bread from a lady. This one was eaten and the person then went back to his turn.
Before the person went to his place, he knelt down again and prayed a little bit. After that, the person has gone to his place and has gone down on his knees again and prayed.
During the service and afterwards money was collected. During the service, I think delegates went through the ranks and collected donations from everyone.
After the service there was also a girl at the exit with a container where donations were collected again.
When all were finished, they sang and prayed a few more times, and then everyone wished their neighbors peace. When that was done, the community was invited to the house opposite. There was coffee and cake and apple spritzer ready for the children.
After that, the pastor wished everyone a happy Easter and Ludwig went back to a room where a lot of candles were lit. There we spent a while and then we made our way out.
The pastor stood at the exit and wished everyone a Happy Easter again. After that we were outside.
I think that’s an interesting experience and I’m glad to have done it. However, what I noticed negatively was, the atmosphere there. One did not have the feeling of brotherhood. In the mosque, for example, you get in and everyone present is greeted once. In the church, however, everyone who came in sat directly and no one had anything to do with the other. That was too bad.
But I think it was good that I could have this experience. Once when I asked a Christian friend if I was allowed to look at a service, she said that it was not allowed. But now I have seen that i can.
I would have been looking forward to a sermon but Ludwig said that it was a children’s service and therefore there is no preaching. But i would really like to have seen what is preached there.