Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chapel Bell

Reading comments on a friend's post has taken me back to the chapel in our small town in Germany.
Shortly after I had decided to be a Catholic like my friends, I was looking for the best way to be fully accepted. I got involved in all activities that were organized by the church for us teenagers. But still better was to do more than what was offered and that's how I came to my exiting early morning job. I committed myself to attend  6AM Mass on Thursday mornings and to ring the church bell 15 minutes prior to Mass. What a wonderful feeling to hang on the rope, pull it down and be pulled off the floor as the bell swung upwards and come slowly down again to pull for the next ring and to know that I was the one summonsing the pious ones to church.  
A magical feeling.                                                                                                                 The chapel was next to the high school. How convenient for me since I was coming to that area of the town anyway. And, to top it all off, after Mass I was served breakfast at one of the church ladies house. Bread was still rationed then and even if it had not been so I never got enough of it. I can still remember Miss K's look when she asked me how many slices I wanted. She had picked up a huge round farmer's home backed bread off the table, cut it in half and held one half up against her upper body and with the knife ready to slice she asked me the question to which I answered  "three, please". The slices were humongous and so was the jam to spread them with.
I think I held that job for 3 months and then promoted myself to be an assistant to the nuns working at the hospital next door to the chapel. I was allowed to help them serving breakfast to the patients.  

Web photo


Halle said...

What a wonderful thing for a young person to be able to do.

I am guessing that no bread and jam has ever tasted quite as good.

Rouchswalwe said...

Wow! And suddenly this came to mind:
my dear Ellena!

Lucy said...

I can see why you were so pleased to be able to do it!

Roderick Robinson said...

All this without a single reference to the less tangible stuff: the certainties of God's vicar on earth, the unbending resistance to change, the occasional beauties of the mass, the musical associations. This is how novels get written. Supply the physical detail and let readers fill in the airy-fairy with their own minds.

And what could be more simultaneously physical and symbolic than bread of heaven? Together with the details of how the loaf was cut. You're a right little subversive, Ellena. I'd better handle you with tongs in the future. And don't for goodness sake try and pretend you don't know what I'm on about.

Ellena said...

Halle and Lucy!
Yes I enjoyed doing it but must confess that I did not do it for the love of God. Mea culpa!

When we arrived in Canada it took as an entire year before we could afford to purchase a Plattenspieler and then the first Platten were Brahms, Schubert and Bethooven. Thank you for the beautiful link. I have never seen anybody play with as much intensity as Ms.Chung.

Do you mind repeating your comment in 8year old language? You don't want to waste the trouble you went into.

Roderick Robinson said...

Oh dear. When I was was 8 I wrote as if I was 103. The arthritis creaked through the text, I suffered from all the defects of age without having profited from having lived that long. Now I am 77 and things are far worse. Try my latest post. In it I invoke the memory of one of the greatest writers of English prose who ever lived. I'll take him as my example. I will do better in future, I promise. Sorry, Sorry. Sorry.