Banners Invite: Heavenwards
Lutheran Church of Witten, Germany, discovered an Appealing Schoenstatt Expression
GERMANY, (mkf) Banners on the streets of the Northern German town of Witten invite twice a year with for a big Lutheran Liturgy, Gospelchurch, with a word well-known to each Schoenstatt member: "Himmelwärts" - Heavenwards!
Schoenstatt member Martin Jakel, a resident of Witten, Germany, already often noticed the banners with the well-known word "Himmelwärts" , Heavenwards, that twice a year are to be seen in several places in the town of Witten. The Lutheran Church organizes big prayer services under this title.
"I wanted to know more, " Martin Jakel recently shared, "and I found out: This title is really taken from our Schoenstatt prayer book!"
A Prayer Book from the Concentration Camp Dachau
Years ago, Martin Jakel found out in his investigation, a presentation of different movements and initiatives had taken place, sponsored by the Catholic and Lutheran communities of Witten. Schoenstatt was also presented, and in the course of the discussion, Father Kentenich's prayer book, prayers and meditations written in the concentration camp in Dachau, was also mentioned. In 1945, Father Kentenich published these prayers under the title "Heavenwards". The prayers are an expression of the spirit of Schoenstatt. Father Kentenich later called them "a summary of the Founding Documents in prayer form", for they contain the central elements of Schoenstatt's spirituality: the convenant of love, practical faith in Divine Providence, the personal ideal, mission consciousness, everyday sanctity, and more.
Ecumenical Approaches – Why not also via "Brilliant Words"?
The Lutheran participants of the above mentioned presentation immediately were fascinating by the word "Heavenwards" which they found to be very appealing and ultra-modern! They picked it up and since then title their biannual big prayer services in Witten: "Heavenwards"!
Ecumenical approaches – why not via sharing words that touch the heart and create and remind of a certain longing that is beyond denominational borders? Martin Jakel: "So who would say that our Schoenstatt expressions are old-fashioned? I am very proud of our 'Heavenwards'."
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