Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Memorium

There was a death in the family last week and today was the day of the funeral. Not being able to attend I'd resolved to visit a temple or a church on the same day as an act of remembrance. I've never been to a church here, but that seemed the most appropriate venue. I'm Catholic by birth, for my sins, and when I was told there was a Catholic church nearby this was clearly more preferable than a competitor church where they'd probably be lying in wait to convert me the moment I walked through the door.

It turns out I'd spotted the Catholic church before - it's a local building with a large statue of Jesus on it's roof, why am I not entirely surprised? But is this more frightening at night than the neon crucifixes that rival denominations favour? That's the key question.

Entering into the building took us down a corridor of classrooms, which was not quite what I expected, perhaps they still have Sunday School in Korea. Shudder. We had to ask at the office where the actual church proper was - upstairs was the answer. Back home churches are always single ground-floor affairs.

Aside from this, it could have been any modern Catholic church back home, although the bell near the altar was styled like those in Korean temples, which is either a nice touch or a cynical move depending on your perspective. Many of the 'stained glass' windows were somewhat compromised by their evident need to be opened for air circulation - hardly surprising given the Korean summers. It was also possibly one of the quietest places I've found in Korea.

Some things are universal though - the church had a shop at the back where, should you be so inclined, you can stock up on your crucifixes and Mary statues.

Korean tags: 종교, 기독교, 교회

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