Despite the fact that the calendar still says “November,” it’s decidedly Christmas season in Bavaria. Glühwein, Chirstmas markets, holiday lights—they’re all here. For church singers, this is a very busy time of year. And since I’m in a church choir, it’s a busy time of year for me, too. We kicked the season off yesterday with a lessons and carols service at the St. Ottilien monastery in Oberbayern. It’s a long way from Munich, but it’s gorgeous enough to justify the drive. The main chapel is also very resonant—an obvious plus for a carol service.
The tree-lined path to the monastery, made eerie by heavy fog
A few inhabitants of the monastery’s aviary. I’m not sure how they survive the freezing weather
A strange group of statues, presumably religious
The main church tower
Inside the large chapel
Inside the large chapel (looking to other way)
Pretty stained glass in the chapel
The altar, with trippy magenta light
Side doorway of the chapel
A cool mosaic above the door
Pointlessly elaborate doorways and windows
We have lots more services to sing in the coming month. Unfortunately, I doubt any will be in such beautiful surroundings. Fortunately, they might be in heated chapels. (We all sang in full winter attire yesterday because it was just as freezing inside the chapel as outdoors.)
(I’m also singing in the rain, but that’s just because I like to sing while I walk, and Munich has been having dismal weather lately.)
I spent my year at Cambridge swearing I would not join a college chapel choir. A free meal and some voice lessons were not worth the commitment of two rehearsals and a service each week. Of course, immediately after arriving in Munich, I joined a church choir (also Anglican) and committed to two rehearsals and a service each week in exchange for voice lessons (and no free meals). Makes perfect sense, right?
Continue reading I’m singing in the choir(s)