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Medieval rituals come alive in the cathedral

Pontifical Mass – Entry in the Golden Book – Organ Concert on the Theme “Heavenly Jerusalem

The Festival of Charlemagne will be celebrated with a pontifical mass in the cathedral on Sunday, 29 January, at 10 am. The main celebrant will be Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg. Concelebrants are Bishop Dr Helmut Dieser and members of the Cathedral Chapter. Traditionally, a delegation of the Charlemagne Riflemen also takes part in the High Mass.

At the Charlemagne Festival, which commemorates the anniversary of Charlemagne’s death on 28 January 814, some liturgical features come to life: In addition to the city hymn Urbs Aquensis – originally known as the Charlemagne Sequence and composed in the 12th century – the Emperor’s Lullaby, which dates back to Carolingian times, is part of the musical programme, which will be performed by the Aachen Cathedral Choir, the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and vocal soloists under the direction of Cathedral Kapellmeister Berthold Botzet. Among the works to be performed will be the Mass in B flat major by Franz Schubert and a cantata movement by J.S. Bach.

After the service, Mayor Sibylle Keupen will receive the Cardinal in the Town Hall, where he will sign the city’s Golden Book.

On the musical trail of the “Heavenly Jerusalem

At 4.30 p.m., cathedral organist Michael Hoppe will play an organ concert based on the biblical vision of the “Heavenly Jerusalem”, which is present in many places in the architecture of the cathedral. The motif runs like a thread through the pieces selected by Hoppe, whose different moods create a consistent arc of tension. Admission is free, donations are requested.

In the vespers at 6 p.m., which conclude the day, the Girls’ Choir at Aachen Cathedral will sing psalm settings and polyphonic choral music under the direction of Cathedral Cantor Marco Fühner.