Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dans le Sacre-Coeur


3-5-06

We hadn't quite realized the magnitude of the destination that awaited us at the end of the Fodor's suggested walk through Montmartre. We stood outside, mouths agape, snapping photos just like the rest of the tourists and then decided to duck inside.

The quiet and peace inside was a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle that had surrounded us for the past few days. Security guards were busily shushing people who were being disrespectful, silencing cell phones and forbidding cameras. Being there on a Sunday turned out to be a good move - we had come in during a worship service and decided to take a seat for a few minutes.

No sooner had my friend wondered out loud, in a barely audible whisper, if maybe we'd hear some music, a harp started playing and a cantor began singing. The nuns were dressed in white robes with black habits, and the lead voice was strong and clear. As the congregation faithfully echoed back the refrain, I wondered about their makeup. Were they regulars to this church - locals who made a daily or weekly habit of worshiping here? Or were they visitors like us, who considered themselves lucky to experience the beautiful service in this historic landmark?

We only stayed for a few minutes, and soon resumed our picture-taking and general touristy merriment. But the unusual peace of the huge and crowded cathedral has stayed with me, and I find myself looking back to it when I need a few minutes to rest my always busy mind and center my sometimes restless soul.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the picture and what a fun experience! Enjoyed reading about your trip.
Has been fun having Brian home adn will miss he and his dog very much but life goes on and not always on my terms. Kaye

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Leah said...

Thank God we didn't have to wear this in Besancon:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dooce/113124926/

7:12 AM  

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