Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Munster Cathedral

Friday, September 5, 1650, late afternoon
Weather: pleasant temperatures and heavy clouds rolling from the north, bringing with them a steady drizzle upon a moderate breeze.

Andrej finds himself being fit for clothes that are not his own, but are beyond anything he would have previously experienced.  The robes are heavy and encrusted with hundreds of small stones, the main of them amber, diamonds and pearls, sewn into pure silk cloth lined with soft, intensely worked damask.  The coin value of the robes, he would estimate, would be beyond price ... and certainly, upon seeing himself in the robes, he cannot help but wonder at his own appearance.  It is a long, long way from the grit and hard living regions of Cumana where he was born.

As a host of seamstresses descend upon the robes to refashion them to Andrej's shape, a similar host turns themselves to his appearance of his face.  It is agreed to fit him for a wig, to raise his collar, to apply a smattering of some perfumes to distract from his natural, somewhat unusual odor (earthy) for the Munster congregation, but ultimately to trust to his station to overcome any resistance to his race.

Whereupon, he is brought to the cathedral, to review the space itself:


I had hoped to compare it somehow with something Andrej might know intimately, but I could not find reliable dimensions for the above.  (I would estimate it to be something like a quarter the size of the Prudential Stadium in New Jersey, if that does not detract too much from the moment).  In a word, immense.  The interior is white marble and the space is as large as a cavern.  A hive of activity goes on as carpenters construct tiers of benches for the largest portion of the invited city of Munster, to provide for nearly three thousand persons.

And it is suggested to Andrej, through all of this, that some kind of sermon will be required upon his part.  He would have the sermon he wishes to give ready, would he not?

13 comments:

Andrej said...

"Ready?"

Andrej is quite at a loss. He had not yet considered a formal sermon as part of the deal. seeing the cathedral he suddenly feels very small and incapable. Perhaps near to panic attack.

As an unlettered missionary he has always relied upon what he considered to be the holy spirit inspiring and guiding his words when he preached. His typical sermons are a smattering of improvisational theater, the sincerest of beliefs and what meaningful bits of scripture he has long held dear and therefore memorized from oral accounts.

He needs time to pray.

Alexis said...

You have the run of the cathedral for the night. A bed is made for you in the Priest's Office, and keys given to you to that room, the Prior's Font (a private chamber including a font holding holy water), the Cathedral Library and the Confessional (again, a separate, private chamber for the clergy, and not the ordinary person).

It is demonstrated to you that a quiet voice is all that is required to make yourself heard throughout the entire cathedral. You are told there will be fourteen acolytes and a deacon at your disposal, to provide you with food and with anything else you should need.

Andrej said...

Andrej is, indeed, living the god life tonight.

His needs are simple, though. Some small amount of wine and simple food. Time for quiet prayer and reflection and the services of one learned acolyte.

Andrej prays for guidance and God's grace. He meditates on thoughts of Hornung's redemption; Serafina's long wait for her lover; the journey to Dachau and finally to Munster. He considers love's immortal and unvanquished nature. He recalls Paul's letter to the Corinthians, one of Andrej's favorite passages. He will have an acolyte read this aloud to him and Andrej will practice repeating it until he has it perfectly.

Out of curiosity, this sermon will be a mass conflict! roll, correct?

Can Andrej use his piety, beauty and persuade in this manner?

Andrej said...

"Living the good life" I meant, but I guess god life works better.

Alexis said...

Yes, all three, and a +2 modifier for the appearance as well ("Extravagantly Dressed")

Andrej said...

Oh yeah, and some choice passages from the Song of Solomon to get the blood pumping.

Andrej said...

Nice. In the manner described above Andrej makes himself ready for the marriage ceremony.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Don't forget 1 Corinthians!

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal...")

Andrej said...

(OOC: That's the passage of which I speak. Always a crowd pleaser, though I always liked the Solomon stuff... the language sounds racy and sensual to me, whether that was the intent or not)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - If the life of Solomon is any indication, with the wives and the having lots of them, I think the raciness is intentional and has probably made transcribing monks blush or giggle for countless generations.)

Alexis said...

Andrej,

Are you ready for the morning?

Andrej said...

I am ready.

Alexis said...

The next post is written.