German town marks 700-year anniversary with programs at Baha'i temple

29 June 2009

LANGENHAIN, Germany — The European Baha’i House of Worship – the most prominent landmark in a wide area around Langenhain – was the site of events this month celebrating the 700-year anniversary of the village.

The mayor of Hofheim, of which Langenhain is a part, and more than 300 townspeople gathered at the temple where a choir from Langenhain sang Christian psalms, alternating with works performed by the national Baha’i choir.

The program culminated with the choirs joining together to sing words of Baha’u’llah set to music from Mozart.

“From the very first sound, everyone could feel that it was something extraordinary,” one of the Baha’is said of the finale. “The very special, prayerful atmosphere lasted a long time – nobody spoke or applauded.”

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Several Langenhain choir members said they had long wanted to sing at the European Baha'i House of Worship, located in their village. They finally had the opportunity at an event celebrating the 700 years of Langenhain.

The event was followed by a second program – a “musical matinee” – at the nearby Baha’i center where the choirs again sang for the hundreds of visitors. Both programs took place on 1 June and were attended by local officials as well as representatives of the Protestant and Catholic churches.

Several of the Langenhain chorus members commented that they had long wanted to sing at the Baha’i House of Worship.

“It was a great joy for us,” choir conductor Andrea Post said. Her group of about 30 singers actually comprised two choirs that joined forces for the special events – the New Langenhain Choir and a local traditional choir that was founded in 1844.

Anniversary events in the village of Langenhain will continue for several months. The weekend of 29 May to 1 June included many activities, among them an ecumenical service at the local Protestant church, a historical landmark dating back to 1748.

The European Baha’i House of Worship, visited by about 25,000 people each year, opened in 1964. It is one of seven such Baha’i temples around the world.

The village of Langenhain, which was annexed to Hofheim in 1972, today has a population of 3,200 people. It is located about 25 kilometers west of Frankfurt.