Is it true that we need something for pray?

 

Finally my trip in Finland was over and my new adventure in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, has started. And I am planning to go to southern countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. I’m so excited to think about next countries but I feel a little sad because I love Finland so much that I don’t feel like leaving.

Is it true that we need something to pray?

・Unique Finnish churches
・Tampere Cathedral
・Kalevan church in Tampere
・Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki
・Utaki in Okinawa in Japan
・We need nothing for pray

・Unique Finnish churches

The most impressed in Finland was about its beautiful and unique Christian churches. Though I will never forget the memories of northern lights, Santa Claus and my friends of travel of course, churches in Finland were so shocking and surprising to me.

 

 

・Tampere Cathedral

 

My first visit to Finnish church was in Tampere, the 2nd biggest city in Finland. Tampere was calm and small city surrounded by lakes and I enjoyed walking around the city. I stayed in that city for 4 days without particular plans except for going to Muumin museum.

 

 

During my walking in the 2nd day in Tampere I found a big church, Tampere Cathedral, and I came in. As soon as I entered it, I heard loud sound of pipe organ. It was so beautiful and holy playing that I sat down and listened to it for a while.

 

 

Seeing around, I could not find anybody in that church. I saw a big painting of the story in Bible in front, a large and dignified pipe organ behind, the wall on which some naked boys are drawn, a dorm-shaped roof, simple and sofisticated, and elegant and beautiful stained glass.

 

After organ playing stopped, I felt completely silent and holy mood and it was my unforgettable memory.

 

・Kalevan church in Tampere

 

In the 3rd day I found more surprising church in Tampere. Its name was Kalevan church and it looked like an odd building from outside. But after I came in, it took my breath away. Its interior design was simple and inorganic. I saw a cold gray wall and roof. I found a very big pipe organ, which was the 2nd biggest pipe organ in Finland, on the right side and an altar sculpture, modern and beautiful, in the middle of the front.

 

 

The sculpture expressed the bruised reed in Bible. I couldn’t find any religious concrete painting and stained glass in the church. It was unusual and modern architecture and I loved it. I will not able to find the church like this in any other place in the world. It let me remember the sentence of bruised reed in Bible.

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish, till He leads justice to victory.”

 

・Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki

 

Even after leaving Tampere for Helsinki, I could see many interesting churches there. The most interesting one was Kamppi Chapel. We can see strange-shaped wooden architecture in the center of the city of Helsinki. It was difficult to know this was a church for Christian and where the entrance of it was. And inside of it was also unusual. In Tampere I was surprised that there were no paintings or stained glass which expresses Christian symbol like Christ and Maria in Kalevan church, and in this chapel there was NOTHING like Christianity. It was just a space for pray for Christian. Even in Kalevan church we could find an altar sculpture and a big organ, which indicates Christian religion, but we don’t see anything like Christianity in this chapel. We just see the wooden wall and roof.

 

This made me think what pray for people is because I felt this chapel was teaching me about it. We can usually see gorgeous decoration, beautiful statue and holy stained glass in church. It makes us have fun and we feel like going there. But they’re really needed for pray?

 

 

・Utaki in Okinawa in Japan

I lived in Okinawa(沖縄) islands, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, for 10 years and we could see UTAKI(御嶽) there. Utaki is the place where Okinawan people pray and connect to natural spirits and Gods. Surprisingly we cannot find anything there, architectures, statues or decoration. It looks like a usual vacant land and some stones or trees are just put there, however, it is the most important sanctuary for Okinawan people to pray. Utaki told me that we need nothing for pray and we can pray anywhere as long as our pray is sincerely. And I believe that every pray in the world was originally like that.

 

 

・We need nothing for pray

Kamppi Chapel also asks us what pray for people is and what place for prayers is. Actually we enjoy architecture, statues, design and decoration of praying places like Buddhism temples, Christian churches and Islamic mosques. But we tend to forget that our purpose and the most important are to pray. It may be appropriate that we have nothing for pray like Oknawan Utaki or Kamppi Chapel because we can remove any unnecessary emotions and concentrate on praying deeply.

 

 

 

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