Tuesday, November 21, 2006
So last Sunday we went to church. There's this large, old church im Zentrum (in the center) of Braunschweig and I wanted to check it out besides it's been too long since I last went to church so Patrick agreed to mitkommen (come with me). When we arrived, there were orange signs outside and the place looked deserted, we thought the church was closed but a sign on the door said otherwise so we went in and sat down. The inside of the church looked almost exactly like St. Cecelia's but a bit wider to one side and with seating only in the center not on both sides. Also, the seats were chairs and not pews. On the alter was a giant candelobra that looked Jewish but with less candles swanked by lots of children in red chior robes (95% of these children were blonde). I did not see a large crucifix behind the alter as anticipated but noticed a small one on the front of the alter. Mass seemed to progress as normal (except in German), I could pick out the Our Father and Act of Contrition though they were said in opposite order and the Gospel. There was no sign of Peace but I know not all churches do that so I went along. The children's chior was so cute, the chior master would lead them to the back of the church and then return them to formation in the front, the priest told the congregation that today was the first performance of the chior and everyone clapped. I noted that all of the children in the church were in the chior with the exception of two seated a couple of rows in front of us and one of them appeared to be too old anyway. I also noted that Patrick and I were prob the youngest adults in the place. He later asked me if young people go to church in the US, aparently they don't in Germany. Suddenly, the chior master was leading the children off of the alter and away from their seats, why were they leaving? oh wait now the priest is leaving and people are getting up and putting on their coats. There was no communion? What is going on? In high school, Fr. Charlie told me that mass is like a meal lol, there was no Eucharist in this mass, it felt so weird. On the way out I noticed a display by the door labled information in foreign languages where they had a selection of colored flyers with information about hte church sorted by language. They myst have had at least 20 languages but somehow not English. I took Spanish and Italian and decided to challenge myself (I never read them as I was distracted buy a caramel latte machiato) I asked Patrick to explain and the best he could come up with was, "maybe they don't do it on Sundays" I laughed at the rediculousness in that response so he asked two older woman who were walking in front of us. They informed us that it was not a Catholic church but an Evangelical church, thus no communion. The women were even gracious enough to tell us that we could catch a Catholic mass at a church a little ways down the road at 11. Maybe next week.