Cervené kostely – Red Churches

Cervený kostel, Litomerice © Ricky Yates

The first Toleranzpatent / Patent of toleration of 1781, whilst giving some religious freedom to protestants living within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was still quite restrictive, in particular insisting that any buildings should not look like churches and should not have an entrance directly onto the street. It was only after Emperor Franz Joseph 1 issued his Protestantenpatent / Protestant patent in 1861, that non-Roman Catholics were finally allowed to build and own places of worship which actually looked like churches, with towers or spires and bells, etc.

Therefore within the borders of what is now the Czech Republic, there are numerous church buildings similar to this one in Litomerice, that date from the second half of the nineteenth century, and the early years . . . → Read More: Cervené kostely – Red Churches

Advent 2016

Advent ring with the first candle lit © Ricky Yates

This year, the season of Advent has been as long as it possibly can be – a full four weeks. In 2017, quite the reverse happens with the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, also being Christmas Eve!

I have very much appreciated the length of the Advent season this year, for a number of reasons. One slightly selfish reason is the cause of Advent lasting fully four weeks – the result of Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which is every clergyperson’s delight! No need for services on three successive days, or on three out of four days. Instead, a full week beforehand, to prepare for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then an uninterrupted week afterwards, to take as a post-Christmas break 🙂

. . . → Read More: Advent 2016

Farewell to Karen

From l to r: Yours Truly, Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz, Jack Noonan © Sybille Yates

On Sunday 17th April, I, together with the St Clement’s congregation, bid a sad farewell to my friend and ministerial colleague, Rev’d Dr Karen Moritz.

As I explained in a post in May 2011, Karen is an ordained minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has been in the Czech Republic since September 2010 as a mission co-worker, working with the Ceskobratrská církev evangelická (CCE) / Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB), the main Czech Protestant Church, which is a united Lutheran/Presbyterian denomination. The Kliment congregation of the CCE/ECCB own Kostel sv Kliment, the Church building where we worship in Prague.

Since successfully getting Karen licensed under the Ecumenical Canons of the Church of England, she has contributed enormously to . . . → Read More: Farewell to Karen

Two Ecumenical events from November 2015

My invitation

November 2015 was quite an ecumenical month. Not only did I sit through a nearly two hour meeting in Dresden, conducted predominantly in German and attended by various German Protestant ministers and theologians, I also attended two important services in Prague, conducted in Czech.

On 21st November, I was an ecumenical guest of the Ceskobratrská církev evangelická/Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren – the main Czech Protestant Church. The service was to bid farewell to the Moderator and Synodal Council of the Church for the past six years, and to welcome and formally install their successors who had been elected a few months previously. The service was held in Salvátor Church in central Prague which is effectively the ‘Protestant Cathedral’.

Salvátor Church © Ricky Yates





. . . → Read More: Two Ecumenical events from November 2015

English-language Anglican worship in the Frauenkirche, Dresden

Frauenkirche, Dresden © Ricky Yates

The Frauenkirche in Dresden is an 18th century Protestant Church featuring a 96m high dome resting on eight slender pillars. It was severely damaged during allied bombing raids on the city on 13th February 1945 and collapsed two days later. Because, following the end of World War Two, Dresden was situated in the Soviet zone of occupation which became the satellite communist state of East Germany, no efforts were made by the authorities to rebuild the Church. Instead, in 1966, the ruins were declared a ‘memorial against war’.

Following the collapse of communism and the reunification of Germany, quite appropriately 25 years ago today 🙂 , a society was formed to promote the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche and to raise funds to finance the project. Reconstruction commenced at the beginning of 1993 and was completed in 2005. The . . . → Read More: English-language Anglican worship in the Frauenkirche, Dresden