Monday, October 1, 2007

September 29

I attended worship at St. Francois this evening. It is a very old Evangelical Reformed church downtown. It is not Cathedrale, that I have been taking pictures of, because that is in fact a Catholic Cathedral. I actually go to St. Francois at least twice a day, because the main downtown bus stop, where I transfer from metro to bus or vice versa, is located right outside. I thought the service started at 17h, but it really started at 17h30, so I had some time to kill beforehand. I bought a crepe form a charity stand. It looked like a boy/girl scout troop because they had similar uniforms, but the money was for an international relief charity. I've wanted to buy a crepe from a stand or creperie for a while, and this seemed like a very good time to do it. It was quite tasty; it had strawberry jam in it.

The service at the church was a neat experience. There were about 25 people, largely women above the age of 80. I was definitely the youngest, and possibly the tallest person there. I wasn't sure where to sit when I got inside, because the pews pointed 3 different
directions. One section faced towards the altar, another section towards the middle, where there was a pulpit type thing, and the last towards the organ, opposite the altar. I chose the middle. I was wrong. The pastor came and told me that the service would face the “heart,” which meant the altar. I don't know why it was called the “heart.”
The hymns were very old, but I liked them. The organist was fantastic, and the music sounded absolutely beautiful in that building. I may be the first time that I’ve heard an organ played in an all-stone structure. After the scripture readings, there were intercessions by the organist. They were a bit melancholy, but I liked them. Some of the low tones resonated beautifully. It really was very spiritual for me, kind of mystic.
Communion was strange. I think I need to learn the Lord's Prayer in French. It had never occurred to me before. For communion, everyone went up to the front and made kind of a half circle around the altar. Then the pastor came around with the bread. It was my first common cup communion. The cup was just passed around the circle, but there was a guy there that kind of followed it. I think he was probably carrying a cup of 'non-alcoholic' fruit of the vine. The cup was the same, but it had a ribbon tied around it. Also, it was backwards to me, because the communion wine was white, but the other cup, that I
assume to be grape juice, was red.

I really liked the experience of this service, but I don't think it is really a place where I could build community. I'm glad I went though. It’s neat to attend new worship services.

After the service, I met a friend and we came back to my place, fixed some dinner, and watched a movie in my room. It was fun. We watched “She’s the Man.” Not exactly quality film making, but very entertaining nonetheless.

No comments: