30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, yesterday’s Sunday Worship from Coventry Cathedral included contributions from one of the partners in their Community of the Cross of Nails, the Chapel of Reconciliation in Berlin.
Today’s chapel not only bears the name of its 1894 predecessor but also contains rubble from its walls. The original church had become inaccessible after the building of the Wall, and was later destroyed. Following the reunification of Germany, a new chapel was built on the site.
Thomas Jeutner, the parish priest, said:“The chapel is situated exactly in the former death strip – that means the main part of the wall is over there and the church was really inside the wall, it was actually walled in. We describe it sometimes like an imprisoned person or an imprisoned symbol.
“The community of the cross of the nails worldwide is situated at wounded places … I meet people here telling me their stories of their wounded histories somewhere in the world. This prayer, of reconciliation, it links you every time when you read it to the deepest failing humanity, but we do it as a duty every week, we belong to the community.”
The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class, Father, forgive.
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own, Father, forgive.
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth, Father, forgive.
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others, Father, forgive.
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee, Father, forgive.
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children, Father, forgive.
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God, Father, forgive.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
You can read more about the programme at this link, and also listen to it for the next month