All good things must come to an end – so someone said. But it’s true. We began the day in Augsburg but leaving there made our way to Munich, the capital of Bavaria and the place where we would end the pilgrimage.
It’s a city that has little to do with Luther, nothing with the man in his own day and hardly anything with Lutheranism today. Munich is a Catholic city and there we saw the evidence as an outside altar was being set up in front of the majestic Rathaus for the outdoors Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Cathedral is vast but there I saw what I thought I would never see – ostrich feathers! They were on the top of the poles that would form the corners of the canopy which would be carried over the Blessed Sacrament as it was carried through the streets of the city. They were a sight to see.
I took the advantage of indulging in a plate of Goulash in which was set a large dumpling. It was all washed down with half a litre of Munich beer. The rest of the group of pilgrims were by this stage full of sausage and beer – but I was catching up with them.
I was sorry to get only a taste of this experience of Luther but glad to get a few days of it. The rest of the group were delighted at having had such a fantastic time and having the opportunity to learn the fact and fiction about a man who helped to change the face of the church. We will continue with our commemoration of the reformation at the Cathedral as this year progresses. But for now we just pray as we did at the beginning.
O God, our refuge and our strength:
you raised up your servant Martin Luther
to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word.
Defend and purify the Church in our own day
and grant that, through faith,
we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace
which you have made known
in Jesus Christ our Saviour,
who with you and the Holy Spirit,
lives and reigns,
one God, now and for ever.