On 27 and 28 May 2017 people from all over the world will celebrate before the gates of Wittenberg, on the Elbe meadows, looking over to the spires of the Castle and City Churches, and contemplating 500 years of Reformation. The first guests will arrive on Saturday and, from sunset, hold a “Night of Lights” on the Elbe meadows, with brothers from the Taizé community. od and drink 16:30–19:00 Concert Live 17 with regionally and nationally acclaimed artists.
The “Night of Lights” begins at 21:00 and officially ends at 23:00. That will still leave a lot of time for those who want to keep singing, praying and meditating – before going to sleep under the stars. Next morning they will greet the sunrise, praying and singing, at 5:19. The sleepers will be awakened by activity at the huge cross in the middle of the field with especially composed music and readings. When the sun and thus the day have been welcomed, the first groups will start arriving from the Berlin Kirchentag and the cities of Kirchentag on the Way, along with the brass bands.
While the meadow fills up during the morning, everyone will be drawn into the final public rehearsals. During the warm-up, impressions of the preceding few days will be evoked in interviews and reports.
As a highpoint of the Berlin Kirchentag and the Kirchentag on the Way everyone will join in the Festive Service at Sunday noon – giving thanks for God’s goodness, and for the good relations between the different churches. This will be a service encouraging us to pass on the gospel – God willing. “Face to face” is the preaching text of the Festive Service, which will be accompanied musically by thousands of brass-band players, a choir with an orchestra and modern music group. Holy Communion will be celebrated together. From up to 250 communion tables, 2400 distributors will carry the elements into the congregation. Pastors and congregations are invited to participate.
Greetings from politicians and other churches will follow the service and the event will wind up on a more informal note. Straight afterwards the Reformation picnic will begin.
600 congregations will bring culinary and cultural contributions to the picnic. Information about the host region, interactive events and surprising encounters will fill the time until the late-afternoon concert with celebrity musicians and groups.
Everyone is invited to this unique weekend, to attend and join in the Festive Service and Reformation picnic. Pastors and liturgists will find more information on how they can participate here.
In April 2017 there will be training evenings for those involved in Wittenberg, Cottbus, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Berlin. Host congregations contributing to the picnic will be given a picnic rug.
Programme on the Festive Weekend
Saturday evening, 27 May 2017
21:00 “Night of Lights” with brothers from Taizé From
23:00, sleeping under the stars
Sunday, 28 May 2017
4:30 Prayers at sunrise
6:00 Arrival of brass players
9:00 Brass-band rehearsal
10:00 Warm-up, interviews, music and singing
12:00 “Face to face” Festive Service with holy communion
14:00 Winding up with short interchanges and interviews
14:30 Reformation Picnic on the Festive Meadow with regional congregations, walking acts, food and drink
16:30–19:00 Concert Live 17 with regionally and nationally acclaimed artists
If you are planning to attend the Festive Service and Festive Weekend please sign up here. This is necessary in order to be able to manage the arrivals and departures and give participants as smooth a journey as possible.
On Sunday, 28 May 2017, there will be a special train timetable run by Deutsche Bahn. Trains will leave Berlin for Wittenberg every 10 minutes. The trip takes about 40 minutes. The train ticket is not included in your Kirchentag admission pass. Groups are recommended to come by coach. Register now and your coach can be assigned a parking space in good time. There will also be a limited number of designated parking spaces for cars in Wittenberg. Parking permits can be procured locally. Everyone coming to the Festive Weekend by train can book their ticket for a specific train here:
Book Train Ticket