DURCHDRUNGEN (oder) SUFFUSED
Three experiences, today on a Sunday, made it to the surface of my brain. The first was, what seems to be, a perpetual visit to the baroque splendor of Asamskirche in Munich. It is simply over the top, or suffused with a sense of decoration and interpretation. One could dismiss the decoration as affect, but the space is suffused with the Holy. It is brought forth by the Asam brothers over and over again, and even in their masterpiece of interpretation and expression it still is not enough.
That someone thought that this putto that stands guard at a confessional needed further augmentation and decoration with a white ribbon and a fake rose is beyond me - but there you have it. Herzjesukirche, that I described on Friday, is in its simplicity suffused with the holy, but so is Asamskirche. And for some unknown soul the baroque of Asamskirche needed more. For me, it was all suffused with delight in what humans can create to somehow approach God.
As we walked away from Asamskirche the air was suffused with something else. There was a peal of bells coming from the towers of Frauenkirche, and, I think, from Sanktpetrus as well. The air was filled with bells - the peal continuing for almost a half an hour. It was beautiful and it was witness. However like most noise, many were oblivious to the sounds that surrounded them. In Michaelskirche the congregation and organ were filling the air with a hymn, some waving their hands to the music. In Frauenkirche they were singing the creed. The air was suffused with music. As we walked to the UBahn to meet family for lunch, the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz added to the joy.
Lunch was suffused with the joy of connection and family. We had a wonderful lunch with Günter and Franziska, and their children Philip, Vera (and her boyfriend David), Elisa, and Henri. Stories were told and news shared and lots of wine was drunk. It was so good to be there.
On our way back to the hotel, we walked into Sanktpetruskirche, and stayed for Mass - a rather simple celebration in the midst of baroque splendor hidden in the spare night lighting - suffusion just under the surface.