St. Bartholomaus rothenkirchen: why miracles cannot be explained

St. Bartholomaus rothenkirchen: why miracles cannot be explained

The verdict of our tester:

If the service was compared to a meal, the faithful were served a dish that contained all the ingredients – but lacked the final root. It was pleasant that potzl held a sermon that did not want to instruct, but rather to encourage a greater sense of community and coherence. In the end, however, it remained too theological and too unspecific to be remembered in the long term, even after the mass had ended. This was more successful with a statement that the pastor made right at the beginning of the service. Man is on earth because he has the mission to do good.

A visit is the st. Bartholomew's church worthy of all the traps. Also outside the service times. The golden altar in the right wing of the church is particularly impressive.

The evaluation in detail:

1. Entry

Most of the believers had not expected such a rough measurement. First they take their seats on the benches in the right section of the church. However, the service will take place in the coarser of the two altar rooms – even if the visitors get lost there in the also much coarser spectator area. The introductory speech by pastor detlef potzl is also rough and long. It lasts just under four minutes and is thus even somewhat longer than the sermon later. In this mass the feast of the apostles philippus and jacobus will be celebrated, he announces. These were the first to proclaim the message of jesus' resurrection.

2. Music

The organist played well-known hymns from the praise to god in a spirited manner – which the congregation sang along with as much commitment as they did loudly. It is not only during the pleasantly restrained organ playing during communion that one notices that there is someone behind the keys who knows his trade.

Even rather slow titles he plays so tensely that he literally invites to sing accordingly to the beat. The consequence: the song does not become a lyre in this way.

3. Readings the reading from the letter of the apostle paulus to the corinthians is read aloud and intelligibly by a member of the congregation. As announced by potzl, the first apostle, jacobus, appears in this song and is to be honored in this service.

Philip then makes his appearance in the gospel according to john, recited by the pastor. It is about the "feeding of the 5000", which potzl will go into in more detail a short time later in his sermon.

4. Sermon

Potzl repeatedly seeks eye contact with his congregation while preaching the "feeding of the 5000 interprets. "Miracles cannot be explained, he says in a tone of voice that does not make it difficult to continue to follow his words. The fact that everyone was satisfied was certainly not only due to the fact that there was now enough to eat. This was probably the result of the fact that everyone had given what they could. The most important help came through the little boy with his five barley loaves and two fish. So from someone from whom it is least expected.

5. Communion/communion

The eucharist is performed by pastor potzl as a convertible communion. The faithful line up in two rows before him to receive the body of christ. Communion is accompanied by pleasantly restrained organ music.

6. Blessing

In the benediction, the pastor also reminds us that this service is a perpetual adoration of the "good shepherds" philippus and jacobus was.

He does not give the faithful a ritualized blessing to take with them, but he thanks them "for praying and singing together as well as "for the community of prayer". For those who have not noticed it so far, it is now pointed out – exaggeratedly formulated – with a theological sledgehammer that one should support one another. Maybe not to perform miracles. But possibly to get through everyday life a little more easily.

7. Ambience

The church is not nuchtern, but also not overbearing, not cold. Although the white walls dominate, the pictures painted in earthy colors, which show the stations of the cross, radiate a certain warmth. If you like, a rather neutral atmosphere, in which you nevertheless feel a bit comfortable and welcome.

8. Pew

Not a few believers may have rejoiced because the pastor did not unnecessarily prolong the transformation. Because with every minute it became more and more noticeable that the kneeling benches have no padding – unlike the sitting benches. In this respect, the otherwise well-equipped church was entitled to add a few more words.

It was therefore only too understandable that some visitors did not kneel down at all. Their orthopaedics and their knees were allowed to thank them.

9. Lighting although a candle hangs under each stations of the cross picture, they are not needed for illumination. On the one hand, sufficient light falls through the windows; on the other hand, since the last renovation, lamps have been dangling from the ceiling, preventing the lyrics from being deciphered in a gloomy church.

10. Senses

The two apostles honored with this service certainly had nothing to complain about. Five acolytes at once provided a worthy setting. While they rang the bells for some of the basic prayers, the church bells even rang during the reading from the gospel and during the consecration.

Why a worship test?

With our service test, we want to bring the churches a little more into the public eye. Among churchgoers, clergy and readers, a discussion should arise about what makes a good service. This meeting, which usually takes place on sundays, has a great significance for both evangelical and catholic christians to this day. Shall be a living expression of christianity. We have sought theological help for an evaluation according to objective criteria from professors martin stuflesser (wurzburg), who is also an advisor to the german bishops' conference, and martin nicol (erlangen), whose book "weg im geheimnis" ("path in mystery") is a good example a plea for the evangelical service. Objective criteria are supplemented by the subjective impressions that our colleagues have gained.

All reports of our series can be found on our overview page for the service test. There you will also find detailed information.

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