Friday, 26 December 2008

Moravian stars

Here's a picture of some Moravian Christmas stars. Defintiely my favourite Christmas decoration. We have a very delicate white paper one at home which we have to piece together in the right way - at the end of Christmas the points can be disassembled and put back into a small box. In Germany you can see Moravian stars all over at this time of year. The Christmas market on the Platz der Akademie has golden stars on top of every booth and the imposing Bertelsmann foundation building on Unter den Linden has them all around the top of the building and over every window and doorway - during the day they are white and at night yellow with the coloured bulbs inside. It looks very classy. Like this one here.
Meanwhile we've been discovering that Schleiermacher was a Herrnhüter (Moravian) and also wrote a Christmas story - more of this soon. This quite small denomination in Germany has an enormous influence on Church life and daily Bible readings in Germany through the Losungen
"Die LOSUNGEN bringen jeden Tag ein Wort aus dem Alten und aus dem Neuen Testament, sowie einen Liedvers oder ein Gebet, ohne jede weitere Auslegung. Sie verbinden Menschen aus verschiedenen Konfessionen und mit unterschiedlicher Frömmigkeit."

They also exist in English and other languages. The daily texts are chosen by lot and it's interesting to see how the verses given to each day resonate as historic events develop. This was particularly the case for me living in Germany as the Berlin wall came down and reunification began.

Herrnhuter churches and cemetries are also very beautiful and calm places. The gravestones all lie on the ground and are not especially imposing large structures, and in the churches often everything is painted white - including the pews. The aesthetics and spirituality of simplicity, equality, beauty and light.

1 Comment:

Brian Barker said...

As the "International Year of Languages" comes to an end, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO's campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2009. http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=38420&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at UNESCO's Geneva HQ.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eR7vD9kChBA&feature=related