This was the first village on the East Reserve, it’s where the Altester lived, and where the Chortitzer Mennonite Church was established in 1874. The church you see there today was built in 1896. The congregation continued to meet in that little wooden church until 2010, when their numbers had reduced so significantly that they just had to call it a day. At that time it became a historic site, because of the historical significance and the remarkable condition of the structure. Every once in a while an event is held in this church… and we’ve been wanting to attend.
This past weekend, we finally had our chance — Christmas in Chortitz!
I love how they decorated.
They had two services, one at 3pm, and one at 7pm. Because we had plans in the evening, we decided to attend at 3pm. I’m sure the evening service was spectacular, with all the lights lighting up the darkness.
But our earlier arrival allowed us to attend with my mom and Andrew’s grandma. So that was really nice!
There was a lot of singing in German.
Unfortunately, I don’t know German… but I figure if I attend enough events like this, I could maybe kinda sorta begin to catch on at least.
A highlight of the singing was Der Friedensfürst. Now that is a tricky song! I’m familiar with it from AM 1250 Radio, during the Christmas season — I’ve always found it so delightful, especially the soprano part which reminds me of cheerful birds. But I had no idea what it was called or that it was even a “thing”. Apparently it’s quite famous! (That’s what Andrew’s grandma told us.) I really loved attempting to sing this!
Kennert Giesbrecht (from the Mennonite Post) shared his memories of Christmas in Paraguay, which was really interesting. Here he is holding up a branch from the kind of trees they decorate for the holidays there. It looks rather… ominous. Those are spikes!
There were dainties and coffee afterwards too. A very cozy lovely event, and we were so pleased to be there!
I’m already looking forward to the next event to be held in this church!