Follow by Email (Make sure you check your email and accept!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Worship in Nortre Dame

Sometimes dumbluck is more imporantant than planning and skill.  Such was the case for our first visit to the famous Nortre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  We arrived on a Sunday so after taking in the Louvre for a few hours we decided to take a break and head over for a sneak peak of Nortre Dame (We were going back the next day as a starting point for a city walk that would also take us to the Cluny museum on the left bank).  As we arrived we had to decide which line to enter in....visite or messe?   Well Messe was the winner and we found ourselves in the nave of the great cathedral with a full house preparing for an evening mass.   So, being a preacher and feeling guilty for not having gone to worship previously we decided to settle in for worship.  First thougthts---it was LOUD!  The pipe organ was being played with all it's intensity and I had to chuckle at the comments I imagine the priest would get about the music being too loud!  Ah, the more things change the more they stay the same.  Next there was a beautiful children's choir that sang in the ancient style and truly sounded angelic.  Then there was a lot of standing, A LOT of French, several readings, etc.... your typical mass in the Western Rite, and of course communion of which it was offered to us only in one kind (bread only).    Here in this beautiful cathedral every sense of the human body was employed.  And somehow I think that is an important part of worship--engaging ourselves bodily and spiritually.   So often we think of worship as only a spiriual affair, but the body also needs to be intune.   But here is my insight...not all at once.  There were times that I needed to shut my eyes and just listen.  Other times when I was oblivous to the sounds but transfixed on the sights--the glass, the columns, the statues.   I don't understand a word of French...but it was still worship, it was still relevent, it was still inspiring.   Maybe because I didn't expect to be able to understand anything, I allowed my other senses to be open to the possibilities of encounting God.

No comments:

Post a Comment