After the Shutdown

St. John's Lutheran Church
When we can once again join other fellow Christians in worship, St. John's in Riga will be our home church because this is the one congregation that will have English worship services. We were invited into the church last week to speak to the pastors about the possibility of doing online services even before we can gather there.

St. John's dates back to 1297 when it was built as a chapel for the Dominican cloister nearby. The chapel was destroyed in a fire in the 1400s and then rebuilt as a much larger church.

Pulpit and chancel area

When the Lutheran Reformation came to Riga in the early 1500s, the church building changed from Catholic worship to Lutheran worship. The chancel area was added soon after, almost doubling the size of the worship space.

Webbed ceiling
The vaulted ceiling of the church is decorated with a magnificent webbed pattern. This is a unique feature of this building, making this a must-see spot for tourists.

Altar with crucifix 
The church is filled with typical Lutheran fixtures from the crucifix-adorned altar to the massive organ, filling the balcony at the back of the church.

Balcony organ

Scenes from Christ's passion 

The other item, making this church unique in Lutheran circles, is the presence of the stations of the cross. These pictures are painted under the balcony at the rear of the church. Christ's suffering, death, burial and resurrection are proclaimed to anyone who enters this space, either every Sunday or as a tourist in Riga.

I am very much looking forward to our English services at St. John's when the city gets back to normal.

Information taken from "Riga: Journey through the Centuries."


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