The photo above was captured as I stood in front of the Köln Cathedral for the first time. I was speechless-which, if you ask anyone on the trip, is a state I rarely find myself in.

I had just hopped off the train and was complaining to Chinelo about the terrible young boys and their constant yelling “I said a boom-chick-a-boom” I had to share a car with. Turns out, middle school boys are annoying in every country and every language. But as my eyes adjusted to the sunlight and I turned my head to see the Cathedral, I stopped mid-sentence and marveled in the beauty of the building.

As we worshiped in the Cathedral the next morning I liked the reverence that was displayed throughout the service. They fully acknowledged that God is holy. It differed from my home church in that it lacked the personal aspect of the Christian faith. I felt that it was more about tradition and regulations than about a one-on-one relationship with Jesus.

As we left the service, there were tons people flooding into the sanctuary. It was interesting to see tourists from all over the world, snapping pictures, amazed by the massiveness and the detail of the beautiful church.


Reflections on Cologne

I was shocked several yards out of the train station after mid-conversation with a friend I glanced up and saw the towering cathedral.  The service itself was, of course, impossible to comprehend.  I gave my best shot at singing along with the hymns, but even that was a crap shoot.   It’s not hard to understand why so many tourists visit the church; I’ve seen dozens of great houses of worship this summer, and this one ranked near the top.  It is unfortunate that so many stunning churches are treated as shrines for the dead and museums for the living instead of places for worship and education for congregants.

Exploring the city at night was a blast, and I had some of my most memorable experiences of the trip in that city.  But again, the city itself is not the cause of that, it was the people I was with and the conversations we had.

Visit to Köln

As I walked outside of the train station in Köln, my jaw dropped at the sight of the Köln cathedral. It was without a doubt the most amazing building I have ever seen. The city however was full of tourists, which took away some of its authenticity.

We attended a mass in the cathedral, which was a very interesting experience. Im glad I attended the service, however it was a very foreign to me. I could not understand anything that was said, probably due to the fact there was no english spoken. During the service they spread incense around, something I have never seen. Compared to my church, it was very formal and ritualistic.

Köln Cathedral

Stepping out of the Hauptbahnhof in Köln and immediately seeing the Cathedral was breathtaking; it was the largest, most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen.  There was so much detail on the building, I could have stood there and stared at the cathedral for hours.  Unfortunately we had to leave and check into our hotel for the night, but the next morning we returned to attend high mass at the cathedral.   Continue reading “Köln Cathedral”

Visiting the Köln Cathedral

It was definitely a new experience worshipping at high mass in the Köln Cathedral. As someone who has never experienced a Catholic service, I was taken aback by the structure and rituals of mass. It is very different from my home church. Mass was rigidly structured with appropriate times for standing, sitting, and kneeling. I enjoyed seeing the rituals, such as the burning of incense, of the church as it reminded me of the reverence and glory God deserves. After the service, there were many tourists waiting to go inside and tour the church. It reminded me that cathedral was a tourist attraction. Sadly, many who do visit the church are simply in awe of the building and not in awe of the one who the building was built for.