Today, I went to a chapel in the college, because the college offered a chapel and choir service as one of the Easter events.
Easter is an important festival to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter day in 2015 is April 5th, according to Western Christianity. There are several events to be held near to the Easter in the UK. Some events in the chapel are open for citizens.
The chapel in King's College London was so solemn. It was based completely in the building. I have seldom seen such a structure in Japan.
Beginning the ceremony, some priests brought candles and crosses to set them in front of the altar. Then, the choir began to sing, making beautiful harmony. I could listen to a dozen of hymns. In the each interval of the songs, a priest read some chapters of the Bible. It was quite precious time.
After the end of the ceremony, the priests put on the mother candle in front of the altar. Then, we had an opportunity to ignite a small candle. Unfortunately, the fire of the mother candle went out accidentally, so most of us could not complete this ritual.
I remember Obon festival in Japan as a similar concept with Easter. It was believed in Japan that the soul of the ancestors comes back to the real world at Obon week, mid-summer. We used to display Chochin, Japanese lantern, in front of each gate to guide the souls.
Modern Japanese also conduct some festivals. But some people dislike events which have strong religious taste. Few people but Christian visit church. Instead, most Japanese enjoy Christmas without any religious thoughts.
It is difficult to judge the influence of religions upon our society. Apart from any argument, I felt simply delightful to listen to beautiful songs today.
After the ceremony, by the way, I had a dinner at a Thailand cuisine restaurant.
Perhaps adjusted to the British people, they were not so hot, and very delicious.