New feminist liturgy- the Junia Service

Filled and strengthened, I left our church St. Franziskus in Riehen today after a particularly nourishing evening prayer/service. Not only because I was able to participate in this liturgical celebration together with other women, but also because the supporting elements addressed and touched me as a human being holistically and sensually.

Field report from the 1st Junia service in St. Franziskus in Riehen

in connection with the prayer on Thursday for changes in the church

There was tender, classical live guitar music to set the mood, which also sounded again and again between the read texts and prayers and as vocal accompaniment.

A very topical and dense scripture reading (Romans 12:1-13 from the Bible in inclusive language) touched me in this translation - although it was familiar - especially in the sharing of the word, where each person (there was also a man among the 15 participants) could say a sentence that touched him or her in the silence: for example, ...Do not swim. not go with the flow...renew your thinking...rejoice because you have hope...persevere when you are in need, and do not stop praying....

The impressive Litany of Junia united us with a large group of women: Ancestresses of the Torah (Eve, Hagar and Rebekah as well as Miriam etc.), with prophetesses and wise women (Noemi and Ruth together with Deborah.etc. with our mothers of the Jesus Community (Mary, Hanna, and Mary Magdala etc.) with our sisters of the early Church (Junia, Lydia and Priska etc), with our ancestresses of the Middle Ages (Clara of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Catharine of Siena and Teresa of Lisieux etc.) with our mothers of modern church history (Sojourner Truth, Dorothee Sölle and Mercedes Sosa etc.) and many more. These invocations were always interrupted by a short, harmonious hymn.

I was also moved by the meditative, repeatedly repeated Franciscan chant with corresponding gestures:  O Signore fa di me un instrumento della tua pace (God make me an instrument of your peace). For this, we all stood in a circle around the small rolls of bread we had blessed, which we then also ate together in peace with guitar accompaniment.

How good that something like this is finally possible in our church: to create and celebrate together! With Jesus and all his disciples - whereby the disciples are never excluded.

Many thanks to all those who took part: Dorothee Becker, Barbara David, Monika Hungerbühler, Barbara Wälty and Sylvia Laumen, ktw, who accompanied and enriched the celebration with great musical sensitivity.


Another Junia Service

There has been much debate over the centuries whether Junia was male or female.  There is but one reference to her/him in the Bible and the Vulgate and Douai Rheims opts for Junias, a male form.

Romans 16
[7] Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners: who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 
Salutate Andronicum et Juniam, cognatos, et concaptivos meos : qui sunt nobiles in Apostolis, qui et ante me fuerunt in Christo.



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