Backs turned to the Cross to face the rainbow flag. Ecumenical Pride service organised by Catholic pastor

Pride service in Lucerne: "The Saviour strengthens our backs"

Setting an example for love, diversity and equality: This is what around 60 visitors who took part in the ecumenical service for Pride Central Switzerland in Lucerne's Peterskapelle did on Sunday afternoon. Many from Lucerne would not dare to take part. They are afraid of being recognized, says a churchgoer.

Admittedly, at first you felt a bit irritated during the service. Because instead of looking at the altar of St. Peter's Chapel and worshiping the Cross of Jesus, the participants in the Pride service looked in the opposite direction - at a curtain in the rainbow colors below the organ.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also

The Blessed Sacrament is still normally reserved there
Before the wreckovation

"perspective change"

But Meinrad Furrer, a Roman Catholic pastor, quickly clarified the matter. The seating arrangement was deliberately changed in order "to be able to take a different perspective". An original idea: "Because that's how the Saviour strengthens our backs," says Furrer.

While hundreds of tourists strolled along the Reuss outside on the Rathausquai and over the Lucerne pier like on a normal summer Sunday, quiet contemplation and spirituality were the order of the day in the Peterskapelle.

Numerous visitors turned up for the ecumenical Pride service - with 60 people it was almost as many or even maybe more than anywhere else in a normal Sunday service.

Old Catholic, Reformed, Catholic

The service was organized by Vroni Stähli (Reformed), Patrick Blickenstorfer (Old Catholic), Meinrad Furrer (Catholic), Tom Muster (vocals) and Pirmin Lang on the piano.

It was sung vigorously.

Among other things, they played excerpts from "Considering Matthew Shepard", a modern oratorio by conductor Craig Hella Johnson, which commemorates and reacts to the brutal murder of a young gay man in the USA. The oratorio will be premiered in Lucerne, Switzerland in November.

"Am I living the best variant of my life?"

All three clergymen addressed the question in the service: "Am I living the best variant in my life?" In the verbal contributions, which were repeatedly accompanied by the lyrical baritone singing of Tom Muster, but also by the strong singing along of all those celebrating, thoughts on demarcation, tolerance, identity and personal love were discussed.

Some allowed themselves to be blessed

During a seven-minute interlude, everyone was allowed to move freely in the Peterskapelle. You could light a candle, formulate a request, leaf through the queer Bible - or be individually blessed by the clergy present.

"I ask God for more love for myself."

An intercession that was read : "I ask God for more love for myself." After the Lord's Prayer and the general blessing, we were invited to an aperitif in the Peterskapelle.

Bowl with aromatic appetizers

Punch with aromatic appetizers from the transcultural vegetarian catering of the Catholic Church in Lucerne was offered.

Before the altar in prayer

"I'm here for the second time," said a 78-year-old to He likes the open and tolerant ambience of the service. He has been in a same-sex relationship with his partner, who is twelve years his junior, for years, he says.

"Many Lucerne residents do not dare to go to the Pride service because they are afraid of being recognized."

78 year old

He comes from a rural community in Lucerne. "I don't know anyone at the service here. Many Lucerne residents do not dare to go to the Pride service because they are afraid of being recognized. Lucerne is a small city after all.


Cathcon:  It should not be too surprising.  Modern Catholicism finds it acceptable for priests to conduct services with their backs to the Tabernacle. 


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