A reader living in Zürich, Switzerland has sent in a recording of the Christmas Eve service at the Zürich’s St. Peter Church.
The priest is reciting The God Is Where the Love Is by Leo Tolstoy, then the magnificent music is followed by the breathtaking pauses and rustles, the candle light is shared, the fund-raising begins, and a parishioner’s mobile phone sends out a distinctive plea for recharge.
Apart from providing us with this outstanding hour-long (!) recording, our reader has kindly made a second-by-second transcript of it. That’s just fantastic.
01. [0:00 – 2:55] Music. Pipe organ. Stille Nacht, one of the most widely known Christmas carols.
02. [3:04 – 6:23] Priest. Excerpts from the Bible about the birth of Joseph and Mary’s son Jesus. ‘…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them’, Luke, 2
03. [6:25 – 8:44] Singing. Vom Himmel hoch da komm’ ich her, a popular hymn
04. [8:50 – 10.42] Priest. Welcoming speech, and the prayer
05. [11:12 – 17:25] Music. Trio 1 – A. Corelli, Violinsonate in A-Dur. Largo-Allegro
06. [17:30 – 22.45] Priest. Reading of The God Is Where the Love Is, Leo Tolstoy’s Christmas story of Martin the shoemaker, who thought he had heard from God one day, tried to spot him in the window again but with no result. The next day brought him a bunch strangers such as an old man, an apple peddler and a boy thief – subsequently he offered his help to each one, with all of them turning out to be the divine incarnation, as it was later explained by the same voice at the end of the day. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’, Matthew, 25
07. [22:59 – 26:15] Music. Trio 2 – J.S. Bach, Sonate A-Dur. Andante un poco 8
08. [26:46 – 38:01] Priest. Preaching a sermon, touchig upon the role and social significance of the Church in the modern society. The service is paused for a minute as the priest leaves the altar and goes up the elevated pulpit
09. [38:09 – 42:19] Music. Trio 3 – T. Albioni, Aus Violinsonate g-moll, Largo-Allegro
10. [42:37 – 44:34] Priest. The prayer. ‘Lord, You have illuminated our lives. Many people all over the world and in our country as well are starving. Many children are unhappy because they do not know that they are loved and welcomed. Please give us courage and strengh to speak up and share these words with each other’
11. [44:35 – 45:20] Silence. ‘Let’s make our silent prayers for our beloved ones’
12. [45:20 – 45:59 – 52:03] Candles are lit. As reader puts it, ‘The priest has passed along the aisles with the candle lit with the altar candles, and then passed the fire to those at the aisles’ sides to pass it along to their neighbours. That made us feel warm and joyful )’
13. [45:59 – 52:03] Music. Trio 4
14. [52:17 – 53:36] Priest. Thanking the musicians and informing that all donations go to the construction works being held in Erithrea
15. [53:37 – 56:17] Singing. Kleiner Gott, a Christmas carol
16. [56:26 – 57:36] Priest. The prayer
17. [57:37 – 58:06] Singing. Stille Nacht.
Published on February 8th, 2011
Photo by dr.Jaus/Flickr.
For more information on St. Peter Church, Zürich