Call to remembrance

The burnt ruin of the original cross that topped the dome of the Dresden Frauenskirche: The new Frauenskirche cross

Old and new spire crosses at the Dresden Frauenkirche

The Dresden Frauenkirche is a Protestant church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and originally built in the early 18th century. As a result of a devastating bombing raid, it was completely gutted by fire, and its amazing dome collapsed on 15 February 1945.

The ruins lay untouched until after the reunification of Germany, when there was a world-wide appeal for its reconstruction. The Frauenkirche was rebuilt with help from over 100,000 private donors, using the original plans and as much of the original material as could be salvaged.

The original spire cross was discovered in the ruins, and its burnt remains now serve as a call to remembrance and reflection. The replacement was sponsored by the British people and our Royal Family, and was crafted by the son of one of the very pilots who had bombed Dresden.

Finally completed in 2005, the Frauenkirche has become a symbol of building bridges and reconciliation. On Fridays at noon, the peace bell is rung, and the service that follows starts with a reminder that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. The response to each of the following phrases – “Father Forgive” – are the same words that Provost Howard had inscribed on the wall behind the altar of his ruined cathedral. And on the Frauenkirche altar is a Coventry Cross of Nails

For the hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class: Father Forgive. [The whole Litany of Reconciliation is at the link]

In this month of remembrance, join us as we pray for peace and reconciliation in our worship