On this third Sunday of Advent I decided to celebrate Mass at 9 as well as 11 am. The first Mass was at Saint Michael church. The parish choir sang the Alma Redemptoris Mater. Mass by Tomas de Victoria. There were twelve teenaged servers and two censers, there were candles and thick incense. Once again a full church and excellent congregational hymns that I was familiar with but instead of English texts they were in German.
After Mass I went to Bürgersaal for the second Mass. I had some time to explore the lower church where blessed Rupert Mayer is buried, and behind the altar is a museum with artifacts from his life and a video presentation. I was very drawn in to the presentation of his life and his resistance to the Nazis. On the wall was a quotation from him, “I say to you clearly that a German Catholic can never be a National Socialist.” I was very taken by his Gospel witness in the face of ideological fanaticism that was evil.
From there I spent the whole afternoon until early evening at the Residenz which was the former residence of the Bavarian kings and has housed a museum since 1920. It sustained heavy bombing; however the restoration is once again remarkable. The Schatzkammer includes items as the Bavarian crown insignia, liturgical vessels and jewelry and furniture. I have included a few photos of a few of the many treasures housed there.
The palace is extensive and you get a sense of the surroundings of the court and how the tastes of the times change. The royal chapel was very beautiful.
When I left the museum I went right back to Saint Michael for an Advent concert that was put within a liturgical setting. A women’s choir from Saint Chapel performed Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. Once again surrounded by great congregational singing and proclamation of the word and preaching! This Gaudete Sunday has been a Sunday of rejoicing. When I stepped into the streets I heard everyone wishing everyone happy Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, not “happy holidays.” And that is refreshing and a cause of great joy.