Jack’s Cabinet of Curiosities – Silent Night
Jack’s Cabinet of Curiosities – Silent Night. As I recall special events connected to this time of the year, my reflections are on my wife who passed away in recent months. Her favorite time of year was Christmas. She decorated with her collections, snow villages, Santa Claus’, and miniature German characters in their chosen occupations.
On one of our many bus tours we stopped in Frankenmuth, Michigan noted for chicken dinners and a large Christmas store. However, the main attraction was a reproduction of the church that “Silent Night” was first performed. This song’s international popularity was displaced on signs in many languages as we approached the church. In the serenity of the church, we internalized the song, that gives us spiritual comfort.
Years later, we had the opportunity to visit the Christkindlesmarkts in Bavaria, Germany, and Austria. This trip was taken in early December to prepare for gift giving on the 25th.
After clearing customs in Frankfort, we met our tour guide and the bus transported us to the first stop at the Medieval walled city of Rothenburg.
Settling into this quaint atmosphere was exciting. After enjoying a German evening meal, we proceeded to an Advent Service. The churches are not heated, thus many continued to wear hats and coats. After a spiritual church service, including a choir and orchestra renditions, we experienced our first Christkindlesmarkt and a large Kathe Wohlfahrt store (Stillwater, MN has a small version of this German Christmas store).
We motored on to Nuremberg, the oldest Christkindlesmarkt in Germany. Then we continued onto the markets in Munich, Salzburg, and Innsbruck Austria. Many interesting visits to special architectural designed churches added to the Christmas spirit of the trip. We even watched a Christmas evening parade standing in front of Mozart’s home in Salzburg, Austria.
A performance of “Silent Night” by a German music teacher and his Russian student in the original church first performed was the highlight of our trip. Our small travel group surrounded the performers during their presentation and we visualized . . . that first “Silent Night”.