• Germans host Christmas service at chapel

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Nearly 300 people gathered in Memorial Chapel Dec. 12 to celebrate Deutscher Adventsgottesdienst, a German Christmas service.
    The special service has been a tradition at Fort Leavenworth for more than 25 years.
    “It is a special opportunity for the German community since they are away from home just to celebrate their traditions whilst serving overseas in America,” said Col. Chris Engen, director of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Academy. “At the same time, it provides the Fort Leavenworth international community an opportunity to learn more about the German culture and traditions during the holiday season.”
    The all German-speaking service, officiated by German Protestant military Chaplain Rüdiger Scholz, included the singing of traditional German Christmas hymns including “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,” and “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen,” which were accompanied by organist Sherry Caracci, and Scripture readings from Psalm 24, the book of Isaiah and the Gospel of Luke. Special prayers of intercession for peace were also included for those at war, those persecuted or deprived of their homeland, those at the mercy of their fears, those who are lonely and abandoned, children and parents who are overwhelmed, and relief from disaster and strife.
    “I thought it was really neat that it was all in German, but I’m a bit rusty so I couldn’t follow as much as I would’ve liked to,” Engen said. “It was a really unique and special opportunity to celebrate Christmas and experience German traditions.”
    Following the service, attendees gathered across the street at Zais Park for a social, which included music provided by German band The Happy Wanderers, food, hot chocolate, cookies and German glühwein.
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