Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Very Special Communion at St Michael's Church - Luxembourg

I'm just back from my first visit to Luxembourg. It was a country that I did not have any personal links to only that I and best friend and counter tenor - Oliver Gerrish were invited to sing at the communion of Prince Gabriel by his parents: Princess Tessy and Prince Louis of Luxembourg. On my return to England I feel that Luxembourg has a special place in my heart.

Coming into Luxembourg airport was like looking down into Blake's poem and reading "England's green and pleasant lands" - but it's not because its Luxembourg. Its green alright, lush fields and bright green trees in full leafage, I'm already thinking this is my kind of place.

A short fifteen minute drive in a taxi and you are into Luxembourg City. During the drive i'm thinking what a pristine place. No Litter or dirt to be spotted anywhere. This thought was soon strengthened on approach to the big city - or toy town as my friends and I have now fondly named it. Luxembourg is spotless and the buildings are very well maintained and lovingly cared for.

On reaching the center I head to St Michael's Church where the service is to be held the following morning. I am met by best friend and counter tenor Oliver Gerrish and the beautiful Princess Tessy. Princess Tessy introduces myself and Oliver to the choir and Conductor - Gerry Welter, Organist Alain Wirth.
Princess Tessy intoducing Myself and Oliver
The next morning I wake to the bells of Luxembourg streaming in through my open window on a light breeze. It is Prince Gabriel's big day and I know it's going to be sunny! Myself and Oliver head to the church ahead of the Royal family and at 10:15 the ceremony begins. It's an intimate gathering but the entire royal family and extended family are there to celebrate Prince Gabriel's first Communion. Prince Gabriel is seated in front of the alter for the entire duration of the service. I was amazed to see such impeccable behavior from an 8 year old - even if he is a prince of Luxembourg. I can feel that this very close knit Royal family are immensely proud of the little prince and quite rightly so. The music for the service was perfectly chosen for the occasion. I sang Mozart's Laudate Dominum and  Oliver sang Schubert's Ave Maria - which he sang beautifully with great reverence. We ended with Purcell's duet Sound The Trumpet - so perfect for the occasion. I  couldn't feel happier singing with my best friend and feeling the huge amounts of joy for the prince and his parents. This feeling took me back to my days as a girl chorister at Wells Cathedral. Its a special feeling when you know you are singing to God.Following the ceremony Oliver and I were invited to dine with the royal family.
By the organ before I sang

Here is a pic of Prince Louis and Princess Tessy on the big day with their children Prince Gabriel and Prince Noha:

Here is Oliver and myself outside the Royal Palace:

After the Lunch our friends and I had a guided tour of Luxembourg. I learnt that Luxembourg is a UNESCO world heritage site. We ambled around the city taking in the buildings and the museums. The most spectacular bit of the tour was looking out into the perimeter of the city where one can see the historic fortifications of Luxembourg. These go on for over twenty kilometers and are called the Casemats:

After the tour I walked around with the girlies and sort after some Luxemborgish Coffee and Chocolate.The boys decided to catch up on some rest before a night out on the town.
Myself and Kim Tran outside St Michaels church where Prince Gabriel had his communion ceremony.

No comments:

Post a Comment