A Lutheran service in Bern (Not LWF, but the church in Switzerland is a member)

Started by Charles_Austin, August 22, 2010, 02:32:52 PM

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We walked past the Lutheran Church in Bern, hidden away on a side street and not looking like a church (probably to conform to earlier laws against Lutherans in Switzerland), and picked up a pamphlet from the rack which explained that the Sunday worship would be in Bern's Munster, the cathedral.
     So we were there at 10 a.m. on Sunday for a service which began with the magnificent organ playing for about 5 minutes. (Nothing in the bulletin about titles or composers.)
     This was a special service, under Lutheran auspices, but with people from other Protestant congregations in downtown Bern invited. By American measures, the liturgy was simple, maybe even sparse.
-Invocation: the traditional words.
-Hymn: All morgen is ganz Frisch und neu
-Psalm 147 read responsively followed by a sung Gloria patri
-A nine-fold kyrie, chanted between pastor and congregation
-A hymn of praise: Allein Gott in der Hoh, sei Ehr und Dank fur seine Gnade
-A baptism, which began with an 8-minute instruction on the meaning of baptism. Simple rite, lessons, blessing of water, questions to parents and godparents, the creed (said by congregation) the baptism, presenting the candle, blessings.
-The Gospel reading – preceded by Ehre sei dir, Herr, and followed by Lob sei dir Christus
-Hymn (in English) The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
-Sermon (On the conversion of St. Paul, with the reading of the text at the beginning of the sermon)
-Organ music
-Prayer of the church, with the congregation singing Kyrie Eleison in response to each petition.
-The Our Father
-Announcements about what was happening that week.
-Hymn: Vertraut der neuen wegen, auf die der Herr euch weist
-Postlude: All sat until it was finished.
     I found the sermon a little hard to follow, which is a failure of my German, not necessarily the preacher's language. But the pastor spoke of God breaking in on us, trusting God, and getting all the guidance we can about where God is leading us. I got that much. The sermon, with the reading of the Acts story, lasted 15 minutes.
     The pastor, a man in what appeared to be his late 30s, wore alb and stole. I introduced myself as we shook hands, but we did not converse outside of his words "Schonen Sonntag."


Thank you so much for taking the time to post/report as you travel, Pr. Austin. You're relating experiences of sights, sounds and smells bring many of us to places of joy and wonder. You made my Sunday afternoon.


The real interesting part was the city of Bern itself. A "UNESCO Word Heritage Site," it is one of the best preserved 15th century cities in the world. Walking the streets gives you a sense of what things were like in those days.

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