Sunday, June 28, 2009

Richtfest - Saint Benedict's Chapel

Richfest is a particularly pleasant German tradition on which people who are building a house give thanks to the builders and all the other people involved in the construction work. It is celebrated when the walls of the house and the roof struts have been built. A wreath with ribbons tied to it known as a ‘Richtkranz, ‘Richtkrone’ or ‘Richtbaum’ is raised up onto the roof. The head carpenter recites a poem known as the Richtspruch or the Zimmermansspruch in which he thanks the client on behalf of all the labourers for work, wages and bread and asks for God’s blessing to be upon the house. The client drinks a toast of schnapps, or sometimes wine or sparkling wine and after the poem will throw their glass from the roof. The empty glass must break on the ground and brings good fortune and blessings onto the new house. The client will hammer in the last nail and says thanks to the workers by holding a feast. Here the guests enjoy schnitzel, bratwurst, pork knuckle or other savoury, German dishes washed down with beer. Friends, helpers, neighbours and relatives are also invited along to the Richtfest. (Source:

Saint Benedict's Chapel celebrated this event on 28 June with the cross being placed on top of the Church. From the artist's conception of the completed chapel, one can see that work is progressing nicely with an expected completion date of sometime near the beginning of new year (or earlier).

Interior of the new church.

Our priest, Father Neil Nichols, FSSP.

JLG ready to go aloft for a blessing.

Father Nichols and Mr. Matthew Sickelton (Supervisor) conduct final checks prior to going aloft.

Father Nichols blesses the cross.

Father Nichols releases his glass to be shattered after drinking a toast.

Mr. Matthew Sickelton drives the final nail to secure the cross.

If you are interested in helping with the construction of this chapel, please consider giving the the Light of the World Campaign.