The Karlskirche – the masterpiece of Fischer von Erlach.
Last Tuesday Evening, November 4th, Cardinal Raymond Burke celebrated a solemn Pontifical Mass at the church of St. Charles Borromeo in Vienna, Austria – the Karlskirche. The organizer of the liturgy was Una Voce Austria. A standing room only congregation assisted at the splendid liturgy in which splendid music, beautiful vestments and precise and complete ceremonial combined for a magnificent statement of faith.
(above and below) The vesting.
(Above and below) The Karlskirche is one of the main masterpieces of that flowering of the baroque in the lands of the Holy Roman Empire – primarily Austria, Bohemia and Germany – after 1683. The architecture of this church contains numerous references to Rome – such as the two columns standing before the facade modelled on Trajan’s column.
(Above) Cardinal Burke preached in German on St. Charles Borromeo (below), whose feast day it was. He recalled the days of struggle against the “Protestant Revolution” and the role of St. Charles at the Council of Trent and as a reformer, first in Rome and then in Milan. Cardinal Burke made reference to the liturgical reforms of that time. He spoke of the necessity – then and now – of remaining faithful to all teachings of the Catholic faith.
The Karlskirche was completely filled for the liturgy. The congregation seemed like a recreation of old Austria – what with men in traditional uniforms – and families with infants and young children. The church is currently under restoration (see above and below, right) so space was at an even greater premium.