“Dropping out was not an option”

If people can't take part in Corpus Christi processions due to corona, then the procession comes to them. Thus the plan in Cologne-Porz. Why a pick-up plays a role here, explains parishioner Matthias Meyer.

Interviewer: You own the red vintage pick-up that plays a role in Corpus Christi in your community. What exactly did you change and screw on the car during the last weeks??

Matthias Meyer (parishioner of the Catholic Church in Cologne-Porz): On the pick-up is a holder on it, on which the monstrance sits. This is meant to be an altar. Here's how the pastors figured it out. Above is the canopy that is normally carried over the pastor with the monstrance.

Interviewer: There was also some rebuilding work that caused a bit of a headache? After all, it's not exactly commonplace to put a canopy on top of a car.

Meyer: Two things were particularly tricky and I had to think a lot about them. On the one hand, there were the support poles for the canopy. They have to be fixed somehow, and I didn't want to drill holes in the car. But then that was also easily solved, because I stretched wooden boards across the loading area and fastened them underneath in a stable way. Then you can't see it from above, it looks clean and there's nothing wobbly either.

The second is the mounting for the clamps. The sexton still handed it to us. They sit on a nice lever mechanism, so you can also swing and ring them.

Interviewer: Where exactly will this pick-up truck go on Corpus Christi??

Meyer: When we had the idea, we didn't foresee that it would be such a big event. We will actually travel to all twelve churches in the Cologne-Porz area. This is a tight program. We stop at every church. There will be the reading, the blessing and the distribution of communion – and then it's off to the next church.

Interviewer: You have really thought of everything. Also altar boys are present at these twelve stations. There is solemn music. How exactly do you have to imagine this?

Meyer: It will be a kind of mini-procession. The altar servers and the pastor ride away on bicycles in front, then comes the monstrance vehicle and behind it another vehicle with church musicians.

Interviewer: They do all this as volunteers. Why is it so important to you personally that the Blessed Sacrament is on its way to people, even in these Corona times?

Meyer: This is more of a theological question. I have a bit of a hard time answering that one. But Corpus Christi has been a feast that I have enjoyed celebrating since I was a child. It is something extraordinary. It arouses emotions when you are out on the street and see the flags and flower carpets and hear the music and sing along. To simply skip that just because the coronavirus is shutting everything down was not an option.

The interview was conducted by Verena Troster.

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