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November 25, 2007

Sunday in Mainz

Mausi and the Monk took some time out of preparing for the conference to attend church this morning, at the Mainz Dom. This magnificent Romanesque building is unusual because it has a "Sanctuary" at the East end and another opposing it at the West. The transepts cross at the location of the Western Altar and above it soars the lantern of the striking central tower, crowned by a small bell chamber at its very peak. The pews all face West where the Presbytery is situated behind the altar and this was the site of the Mass.

Mainz Dom seen from the Rhine-side esplanade.

We managed to attend the High Mass of the morning, sung by a large all girl choir and set to a rather modern setting. The girls carried it off rather well, but - to someone from my tradition at least - having the congregation applaud them as they processed out at the end of the service came as something of a surprise.

The Monk did wonder - perhaps naughtily - what the reaction of his own Abbey's Verger team would be to being told to wear the rather splendid gold lace trimmed Bicorn hats, dark tail coats with sash and gold eppaulettes, knee breeches and buckle shoes while carrying a staff of office and a mace in procession. Their deportment was splendid as they marched side by side down the central aisle, reminding us that this is the home of a Cardinal Archbishop, no less. The service itself was an interesting experience since the Monk does not have sufficient German to follow the spoken word, although he managed to sing the printed hymns quite well and made te appropriate responses when he could find them in the service missal.

One innovation that he somehow can't see working in the Abbey is the electronic hymn boards - which flash up the hymn number - and the verse to be sung next! Ah, the wonders of technology - Vorsprung durch Technik?

Posted by The Gray Monk at November 25, 2007 06:36 PM

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If you happen to see the Archbishop of Canterbury, tell him to piss off, from the worst sort of American Imperialist. Seriously, that man is daft.

Posted by: shreck at November 26, 2007 03:08 PM

Shreck, if I meet him I'll certainly have a few questions to put to him - but I can tell you I would not want his job for any money in the world. No matter what he says or does he will inevitably upset one faction or another - that is the nature of the position he holds. He is expected to be all things to all men - but as we all know, that is utterly impossible, especially as he is never completely reported, the media love to stir contoversy and always try to abridge what he says on any subject to make it appear derogatory or daft to someone.

As I said, a real no-win position.

Posted by: The Gray Monk at November 26, 2007 06:11 PM

Does he not understand under sharia law he's out of a job?
“It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalising it. Rightly or wrongly, that’s what the British Empire did — in India, for example."

That sir, is a howler.
BTW lovely photos on your blog.

Posted by: shreck at November 26, 2007 07:25 PM

A point that is not lost on him or the other clergy in the C of E, but they also have to sing the current left wing mantra - after all our Labour Masters pay the wages - that in the socialist paradise Labour are trying to create, all faiths are equal, no faith is better and there won't be a problem with the Sharia because we'll all be atheists ....

Privately the Archbishop has expressed concern that Islam must recognise and accord all other faiths the same courtesy they receive from Christians here, but it is most unlikely. We do have to remember that this is the year 1400 in the Islamic calendar. A brief look at what Christianity was going through at the same age is informative - and tells us a lot about what may begin to happen within Islam in the next few decades.

Posted by: The Gray Monk at November 27, 2007 08:57 AM

Once again I thank you for your response and I suppose telling the Archbishop to... well a bit over the top.
Even in America Muslim leaders have openly expressed that Islam should be the dominant religion, good luck on that as we're a Godless lot!
I appreciate the view from England, I read several European blogs, just to see what ya'll think of us and what's going on in the world.
Which leads to this question, if I could ask the average Brit in your Parish what they thought of the United States, what would be their response?
I could use a bit of waterboarding to get the truth too!

Posted by: shreck at November 27, 2007 09:35 PM