Introduction: Three – Object in the middle – Church 2


In our search for the church [1] as “object in the middle” we make a trip of 5 miles. You and I begin in the – more than one thousand years old – Aachen Cathedral in Germany and continue in time through the village church in Wahlwiller in the Netherlands to the newly built church in the abbey Benedictusberg in Mamelis near Lemiers. At the same time this trip leads us back in time from the contemporary city of Aachen, by the village community of 50 years past to the monastic life of many centuries ago.

On this trip we travel through time as the main characters in the book “The once and future King” by Terence White. Kay and The Wart move forward in time and Merlin returns in time.” You say.

“If Merlin would follow our Odyssey back in time, than he has to accomplish an impossible task in the transition from Two to One. He must group an infinite number of fragments together to restore the complete oneness. Maybe Merlin has a chance.” I say.

“That’s impossible. A fractures bowl is beyond repair. I do not know what we may expect on our Odyssey. The transition to Zero is an impossible change in its own. Let’s first see the Cathedral.” You say.

We look at the light in the dome. As I look at the arches, I realize that Charlemagne fought violently with the Moors. But in this house of God that emerged from the palace church of Charlemagne, the shape and the colour of the arches are very similar to the arches in the mosque in Cordoba.

We look at the altar. A group of Germans enters behind us and starts to sing:

“Plorate, Filii Israel. Plorate, omnes Virgines, et Filiam Jephte unigenitiam in Carmine doloris lamentamini.[2][3][4]  

“Jephte makes a terrible sacrifice for his victory. His daughter keeps him to his promise to God by which she completely accepts her own fate.” You say.

“In that time, women keep men in their promises [5]. Will Jephte and his daughter rise from the death by following the promise to God by which they accept their doom? ” I ask.

“I do not know. Let us hope so. I hope that all people will resurrect who accept their fate. The light in the church gives hope.” You say.

The sun breaks through. The light in the dome shines around the altar and creates a golden glow. The cathedral shows itself in its full glory. “The light gives hope.” I say.

[6]

We continue our trip to Wahwiller by the road past the University Hospital, the Hochschule for Technology and the border post at Vaals. After a few kilometres, we see on our right side the Abbey Benedictusberg, our third destination today. A few moments later we leave the main road and enter the village Wahlwiller. We have come to admire the paintings by Aad de Haas [7] in the St. Cunibertus Church. The colours inside and the Stations of the Cross in this church are exceptional. In 1947 the paintings are far too daring for the Catholic Church. After more than thirty years, the paintings of the Stations of the Cross did return in church again.

[8]

We enter the church and again a golden glow. “People show the light of their surroundings. The main altar in the Storkyrkan on Gamla Stan in Stockholm consists of silver on dark ebony. This renders the bright spring light in the Nordic countries.” You say.

[9]

“In South Limburg the light is much softer, therefore this golden glow. The fifteenth station representing the resurrection – in addition to the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross – is beautiful. This painting should actually be directed towards the East and be positioned behind the altar. ” I say.

[10][11]

“The image of the Easter resurrection matches text: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”[12]. Considering the resurrection, I also think about a resurrection from a tabernacle. Probably a tabernacle is mainly empty to give room for the resurrection. Above the Ark the area for Yahweh is also empty.” You say.

“Heaven and earth surpassing; only in the void, the sun rays may shine so beautifully in this church.” I say.

We return in the direction of Lemiers. At the beginning of the driveway to the abbey Benedictusberg, you read that we may join the prayer services. First we examine the photographs of the abbey church [13].

“It looks like the inside of a sanctuary. This absolute beauty of dimensions and the layout of space does not need any further images.” You say.

“Very contemporary and also completely timeless. Modern and also the very first church. It seems like time has no grip on this area. What a beautiful light from above.” I say.

[14]

“Let’s attend the Vespers [15].” You say.

“Very well.” I say.

The following post continues on meditation centers as “object in the middle”.


[1] The source of the word “Church” probably is Greek “Kūrios” meaning “Lord, Master”. Source: Ayto, John, Word Origins, the hidden History of English Words from A to Z. London: A &C Black, 2008. Maybe the word Church originates via the German word “Kirche” from the compound of Indo-European words “kr” (karoti, kurute) meaning “make, do, perform”, and “ish” depending on the “sh”sound either “sacrifice” or “ruler”, or “ich – I ” in Sanskrit.

[2] Source: Oratorio by Carissimi, Giacomo (1605-1674), Jephte

[3] “Weep, Children of Israel. Weep, all young women, for the only daughter of Jephte weep with mournful songs.”

[4] See also: Old Testament, Judges chapter 11.

[5] See also: McGrath, Kevin, STRῙ women in Epic Mahâbhârata. Cambridge: Ilex Foundation, 2009

[6] Source image: http://www.elfduizend.nl/reizen-Aken.php

[7] See: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aad_de_Haas

[8] Source image: http://www.vvvzuidlimburg.nl/beleefzuidlimburg/abc/vermelding.aspx?id=5471

[9] Source image: http://www.tripadvisor.com

[10] Source image: http://www.deroerom.nl/pagina/344/pasen

[11] Complete overview of the Stations of the Cross in the Church in Wahlwiller: http://home.kpn.nl/dreumpie/w/index_copy(1).htm

[12] See also: New Testament, St. John 12: 24

[13] Architecture: Dom Hans van der Laan. See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_van_der_Laan_(architect)

[14] http://www.kerkgebouwen-in-limburg.nl/view.jsp?content=2044

[15] Evening prayer at the end of the afternoon.

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