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31 Jan 2020

Confirmations at Christ Church, Lausanne

 

Friends at Christ Church, Lausanne share a report with us on Confirmations earlier this month in the chaplaincy:

Lausanne was in the international news twice over on that cold and sunny Sunday, 19 January. The first occasion, the one you could see on international television, was the 3rd Youth Olympic Games. At Christ Church, the second event was even more important. This was the confirmation of 9 candidates, 6 children aged 11 and 12 and 3 adults, one came 250 kilometres from Freiburg-im-Breisgau, in Germany.

By definition, confirmations are the prerogatives of a bishop. Sure enough, Bishop Robert had come to Lausanne to preside and preach. At Christ Church we do things well: we even had a duo of bishops, with the Old Catholics' Bishop Harald* celebrating at the altar (pictured, left). The complex choreography of the service was the work of Christ Church chaplain, The Revd Christine.**

Christ Church Lausanne - 4

 

To enter into the spirit of the day, here is an impression -- slightly abridged -- by Dillia, mother of twin confirmands:

On the bright and cold morning of the confirmation, as instructed, the candidates arrived early, looking very dapper. Accompanying grandparents, godparents, cousins, aunts and uncles and even a former au pair had come from as far as Australia.

Bishop Robert began his sermon by holding up a Newcastle United football shirt. What has football got to do with confirmation? Both are life-long commitments, both involve following and belonging to a team. The language was simple, the message clear and obviously prepared with the confirmees, a majority of them young boys, in mind. It appealed directly.

 

Christ Church Lausanne +R - 3

 

Thank you to those who prepared the church the evening before. Thank you to those who came early to set up. Thank you to those who remained invisible and silent in the background. Thank you to the numerous children who somehow understood the gravity of the occasion and remained calm and quiet throughout the service - and to the Sunday club teachers who supervised them.

Thank you to the families who brought food. Thank you to the baker of the incredible rose-bedecked confirmation cake. Thank you to those who barely witnessed the service because they were working in the kitchen. Thank you to those who washed up and those who stayed to clean up the church. We are so blessed. All in all, it was a fabulous occasion!   

Christ Church Lausanne - 2

 

* The Right Reverend Harald Rein is Old Catholic Bishop in Switzerland.

**The Revd Christine Bloomfield is Chaplain at Christ Church, and is also priest-in-charge of the Old Catholic congregation in Lausanne.

You can find out more about Christ Church, Lausanne on their chaplaincy website: 

http://christchurch-lausanne.ch/christchurch2/

 

Photos in this article are reproduced with permissions.