This week's been very busy with trying out new places to write, writing, filling out writing samples, sending my resume, etc...a very busy week. So, I have to apologize for just now telling you about a fun gathering I attended last weekend. My church, St. Clement's Anglican Church, and the Old Catholic congregation got together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the relationship between our churches. The joint service was held at the St. Laurence's Church on Petrin Hill. But before telling you about that, I'd like to share some pictures from the ride up Petrin Hill.
The FunicularPetrin Hill has many walking paths leading to the top, with many of the paths offering a gentle, but invigorating hike up. In decent weather the paths are filled with families, couples and older folks enjoying the scenery on the walk up Petrin. Last Sunday morning I went to the service on my own, but Jiri didn't want me to walk up the hill by myself, so I took a ride on the funicular. The funicular is an interesting vehicle that rides a rail up a very steep side of Petrin; it goes up the hill and back down again. On the ride up I took a few pictures.
St. Laurence Old Catholic Church
The Church of St. LaurenceThe top of Petrin is a beautiful spot filled with gardens, a hall of mirrors, and more; and is a great place to spend an afternoon away from the city. The church of St. Laurence sits on the top of Petrin which in ancient times was a place of pagan worship (according to the plaque on the church). Czech legends also say this is the spot where Libuse , a prophetess and the mother of the Premyslid dynasty, foretold the future greatness of Prague. St. Laurence's Church is thought to have been built by Boleslav I in the 10th century.
The Anglicans and Old Catholics
St. Clement's congregation is associated with the Old Catholics in that our church is under the jurisdiction of the Old Catholic Church of the Czech Republic (who are not Roman Catholics). We are actually the English-speaking parish of the Old Catholic Church in Prague, and are under oversight of Bishop Dusan Hejbal. Old Catholics were once Roman Catholics, but broke away (in the Netherlands) in 1724. The split was caused by a disagreement over doctrine. My understanding is that Old Catholics are still Catholic, but are really more like Anglicans and Episcopalians. (Chaplain, please correct me if I'm wrong!).
Combined ServiceThe two churches held a combined service with portions of the service in English and Czech--sometimes using both languages at the same time. It was a beautiful service lead by Bishop Dusan and our chaplain, Rev. Ricky Yates.
Rev. Ricky Yates
Here are some pictures of the inside of St. Laurence:
Organ and Choir Loft
Side altar with sculpture of
Madonna and Child
After the service, the Old Catholic congregation put together a delicious buffet of different meats, cheeses and other Czech food. We all mingled together and conversed as we could. Not everyone could speak much of the other's language, but we still managed to have a wonderful, fun time.
Anglicans and Old Catholics mingling
I stayed and visited with everyone for a bit and had a great time. After that, I wandered around the top of Petrin for a while taking some pictures. Here are scenes of some of the beauty of the hill that came to life when the sun came out.
Is this Moses's burning bush?
No, but certainly a beautiful tree.
The back of St. Laurence's Church with
rose gardens in the foreground
Rose bud from the garden
Beautiful red rose opening in the sun
That's all for now. If you're ever in Prague and would like to find an English-speaking congregation to worship with, please be sure to check out St. Clement's. We would love to have you join us! You can find us on a map at the church's website, with directions, too, along with the contact information. We are a congregation of many nationalities, but all services are in English. You can even join us for coffee and refreshments after the service!
Have a wonderful weekend!
All photos are the property of S. Vacik
(c) 2010 by czechoffthebeatenpath