Reflections on Köln

Attending mass at the Kölner Dom was one of the most interesting things I’ve experienced on our outings. The cathedral itself is just magnificent. It is so large that it is nearly impossible to take it all in. Despite its enormous size, the builders still took care to cover every surface with ornate carvings. Stepping inside and attending the service gives you a glimpse of what an ordinary church goer would have experienced 500 years ago. The high vaulted ceilings do a wonderful job of making you feel small, and looking beyond the alter, the light streaming in from the stained-glass windows seems like heaven could just be on the other side. During the service, the smoke from the incense and the organ music enhance this mystical feeling. The service was entirely in German and I could only pick out a few words and phrases, but this is also like what might have been experienced back in the day, as the service would have been all in Latin. Despite this, I was still able to discern the main theme of the sermon, which was to offer what we have to God even if it doesn’t seem like much, just like the boy with the bread and fish that Jesus used to feed the five thousand. Overall, I think that it was a very unique experience that I’m glad I got to do.

Reflections on Köln (Cologne)

Köln was an interesting city to visit. It was different than Berlin because it was much smaller than Berlin, but it’s also a lot nicer ( in my opinion) to be in. However, the one thing that was a turn off for the city was the large groups of women there for Bachelorette Parties who would ask you to buy liquor or other things from them (they earn points this way and try to get the most points).

It was also interesting to see the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). This Cathedral is the most “touristy” churches I have been to. It was so bad that there were tourists in the church during the church service. The church was definitely beautiful in a Gothic era way but the over commercialization of it kind of saddened me. I liked the church service, but it was hard to feel spiritual with so many tourists taking pictures. Also the fact that the church had a gift shop built in seemed biblically wrong.

However, despite this i still loved the city, especially the authentic German restaurant that we went to where I got Sauerkraut and Pigs Knuckle (better than it sounds). Oh and a hotel with AC . . .

Church Service in Köln

Attending the Köln Cathedral for church on the 29th was simultaneously beautiful and bizarre. The atmosphere of the whole cathedral was undeniably grand. Every sound echoed throughout the halls, and you had to crane your neck upward to see the ceiling. The details in the stone and stained glass windows genuinely felt like they were to amazing to be made by human hands.

At the same time however, the church service itself felt lacking. It was hard to be engaged with the service because I’m not Catholic and not fluent in German, but that wasn’t the only problem. While sitting in my pew, I didn’t feel like I was there to worship God, but rather that I was there for the building itself. Perhaps this feeling was amplified by the various tourists who stood at the back of the sanctuary while we worshiped. I would have much rather enjoyed going to church in a smaller location like I do at home.