English -> 2021 Living Advent Calendar: Hostel Search

Hostel Search 2021

in the courtyard of Anne and Roland Geiger

Recording from Monday, December 20, 2021

Lively advent calendar 2021
The door for December 22nd

Recording, editing and production: Christoph Cerovsek
(c) 2021 protestant parish of St. Wendel


Idea: Anne Geiger
Texts: Anne and Roland Geiger

Nb: About the text of the song „Wer klopfet an“ (Who knocks the door) and its creation
=> Niko Kuret: Vom Ursprung der Herbergsuche. In: Studia Mythologica Slavica 1 (1998), S. 23–25; online link at the end of the above wikipedia page.

Incomprehensible conversation:

Elfie: Roland, ask about the sound of the bell. … ROLAND !!!
Roland: Hey?
Renate: The gong.
Roland: Oh. Do it, you do it.
Roland: Louder.
Renate: You can't hear that.
Roland: Louder. Louder still.
"Kling". "Kling"
Roland: Even louder. Much louder.
Roland whistles twice. The conversation ends.
Roland: The whistling was good.
Anne: Thank you, Elfie.

Anne: Introduction
The hectic part of the day is over
it's got dark
and we have gathered here
to come up with a few songs and stories
to relax a little and get in the mood for Christmas at the end of next week.

End of next week …??? End of this week …

Roland: I wrote it wrong, sorry.

Good evening,
Welcome here in Alsfassen in our courtyard.
We are very pleased that so many have accepted our invitation.

Every year we have a different topic and often ponder and discuss back and forth, but this year we found it quickly.

My mother Rita has been looked after by Hanna Fischer from Poland since August last year. Hanna took very good care of her and has become part of our family. A year ago today, she helped design the advent calendar of 2020.

Mama's death on July 5th also bothered Hanna very much. Her agency would have loved to reallocate her immediately, but we gave her refuge upstairs until the end of the month. Then she took up a new job, but was so unhappy there that after several weeks she returned to us and found another hostel upstairs in the house.

So we decided to make the hostel search, which we already mentioned many years ago, our topic today.

First common song „Wir sagen Euch an den lieben Advent“.

The first song we sing is “We announce dear Advent to you”, today exceptionally with four stanzas, because we are over the fourth Sunday in Advent; does not always occur.

1. We announce the dear Advent to you.
See, the first candle burns!
We announce a holy time for you
Prepare the way for the Lord.

|: Rejoice you Christians, rejoice very much!
The Lord is already near.: |

2. We announce the dear Advent to you.
See, the second candle is burning!
So take care of each other,
As the Lord did to us.

|: Rejoice you Christians, rejoice very much!
The Lord is already near.: |

3. We announce the dear Advent to you.
See, the third candle is burning!
Now wear your goodness brightly
Far into the dark world.

|: Rejoice you Christians, rejoice very much!
The Lord is already near.: |

4. We announce the dear Advent to you.
See, the fourth candle is burning.
God himself will come. He doesn't hesitate.
Up, up, hearts, light up!

|: Rejoice you Christians, rejoice very much!
The Lord is already near.: |

Renate Laub: About Hostels.
Hostel, that is a strange and at the same time pleasant word.
Hostels used to be simple accommodations for strangers in transit. Despite their simplicity, they offered hospitality and warmth and a roof over one's head. They were places where you could find a home even in a foreign country. For a week, a few days or just a single night.

In “youth hostel” something of the original meaning still stuck: the heads of a youth hostel were called hostel parents, although today they have more or less gone out of fashion.
Some of you will have hiked the Camino de Santiago and know the pilgrim hostels where you can stop off after a long day's hike. They do not offer luxury, but a safe roof over your head for the night.

There was also such a hostel in St. Wendel for centuries. The parish ran it on the upper floor of the old town hall for pilgrims who visited the grave of St. Wendelin and couldn't find accommodation in the inns.

Two thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph were in a similar situation when they looked for a hostel in Bethlehem. We'll find out more about that in a moment.

Many people want a place of familiarity and security, especially at Christmas. May God find a place with us on these Advent and Christmas days, and may we be good hostel parents for him.

The hostel search [Herbergssuche] based on the song "Who knocks?"

[The song consists of a question-and-answer combination between Joseph and his heavily pregnant fiancée Maria, who are desperately looking for a place to stay for the night, and several hostel fathers who put them off, which is why the child is born in a cattle shed.]

Hostel fathers: Roland.
Josef and Maria: Elfi and Heinz Hausmann, Klaus Geitlinger, Anne Geiger

Anne taps the drum twice.
Roland sings: Who knocks?
Anne keeps beating the drum; Roland interrupts, puzzled.
Anne: You said “three times”.
Roland: Oh yeah, I well deserved that.

Anne taps the drum twice.
Roland sings: Who knocks?
Elfie, Heinz, Klaus, Anne: "O two very poor people."
What do you want then?
"O give us hostel today!
O through God's love we ask, open your huts for us! "
Oh no, no, no!
"Oh, let us in!"
It can not be!
"We would to be grateful."
No, it can't be, just go away! You're not coming in.

Anne taps the drum twice.
Who at the door?
"A woman with her husband."
What do you want?
"Hear our pleading!
Let us live with you today! God will pay you everything. "
What are you paying me
"We have no money."
Then go from here!
"O open the door for us!"
Don't bother me! grab yourselves, go somewhere else!

Anne taps the drum twice.
Who else today?
"Oh dear, come out!"
Are you beggars?
"O open the house to us!
Friend, have mercy on us, treat us poor to a corner! "
Nothing is empty there.
"That's how far we go today!"
I can not anymore.
"O dear God and Lord!"
Eh, you speak begging language. I know it well. Go away from me!

Anne taps the drum twice.
What are you crying
"We freeze from the cold."
Who can do something for it?
"Oh, give us quarters!
We have been rejected everywhere, every gate is closed to us! "
So stay out!
"O open the house to us!"
Nothing will come of it.
"Show us another house!"
There go to the next door! I don't have space. Just get away from here!

Anne taps the drum twice.
You are too late.
That's what they say everywhere! "
Only go, go!
"O friend, only for today!
Tomorrow the Savior will come; he loves and pays the pious. "
I don't care.
"Look at our misery!"
It's none of my business.
"Have pity, dear man!"
Just keep silent, leave me alone! There you go!
I lock the door.

Anne taps the drum twice.
Just go away!
"O friend, where to? Which way?"
A cattle shed there!
"Go, Joseph, just go first!
O my child, according to God's will you must feel poverty! "
Now pack yourselves away!
"Oh, these are hard words!"
To the cattle shed there!
"Oh, probably a bad place!"
Ah, the place is good for you; you don't need much. There just go!

Anne taps the drum twice.
Come here everyone!
"You people listen to me!"
Yes just come here!
"And see what you've done!
You have repudiated Jesus so, you have closed every door to him. "
O man now cry!
"Oh look, the Infant Jesus -"
must now, oh pain,
"to be in the cold barn."
(All :) O how cruel is the sin that casts off the child of God!

Roland: Hospitality
A week from today, but 39 years ago was the last day of a three-week trip to Egypt, organized by the youth hostel, in which I was the youngest of almost 30 participants. We had visited Cairo and the great pyramids, the Valley of the Kings near Luxor and the great dam near Aswan. We spent Christmas Eve in a youth hostel in Suez on the Red Sea.

The day before our return flight to Frankfurt - it was December 27, 1982 - the four of us went on an excursion to the Bent Pyramid of Dashur, about 30 km south of Cairo on the edge of the desert. On the way we met an Englishman who had the same goal. We never reached the pyramid because it was in the middle of a military zone at the time. Uniformed men in a jeep stopped us and politely but firmly gestured us to turn back. We trudged back through the hot sand and descended the high sand dune into the Nile Valley. At the foot of the dune our way led us through a small settlement. A few square stone houses, in front of them a kind of garden, lined with low stone walls on the way.

In the middle of the village we decided to take a break. We sat down on a wall and unpacked our packed lunches that we had received from the hotel that morning. As soon as we were seated, the door behind us opened and a man came up to us gesticulating wildly. He spoke Arabic and we didn't understand a word, but he was beaming and asked us with many gestures and many words to come into the house. There we were allowed to sit on pillows on the floor, and immediately some children came and brought water and tea and the obligatory flatbreads. A clear soup was steaming in a saucepan, and the host asked us to taste it. It occurred to me that our packed lunches included little packets of salted chips that would definitely go well with soup. The children who sat quietly with us got big eyes, and of course we offered them the goodies; we had more than enough of it. A gesture that is part of good manners with us.

Our host saw it very differently.
One loud word and the children fell silent.
A polite, thankful, but at the same time negative gesture to us.
And again the invitation to serve us.

I was deeply impressed by the man's behavior then and still is today. His sense of honor and his connection to his tradition, which was absolute and did not allow anything in return, not even gifts or attentions to his children.

There are no photos of our visit and I never learned his name. But I will never forget his hospitality.

[In the middle of reading I realized that the text spanned two pages, and I didn't know how to slip the top sheet over, because the paper tends to become charged and so to speak stick to one another; I held the black clipboard with both hands and knew that if I let go of one hand, all the papers would fall off. Anne noticed the misery and quickly pulled the top sheet to one side. These are the little things that you don't think about beforehand and which can then become full-blown problems. Although I always have in the back of my mind that the visitors like to come to us and comment on a mishap not with malicious glee, but with well-intentioned humor.]

Second common song „Es ist für uns eine Zeit angekommen“.

Roland: Okay, we'll sing the next song, it's the last song:

|: A time has come for us
which brings us great joy. : |
Across the snow-covered field
let's wander, let's wander
through the wide, white world.

|: Streams and lakes sleep under the ice,
the forest dreams a deep dream. : |
Through the snow that falls softly
let's wander, let's wander
through the wide, white world.

Roland: Advent blessing.

Anne: May the light of the advent candles warm your heart
Roland: May the light of the advent candles brighten the darkness of the day.
A: May the light of the advent candle make your eyes shine,
R: because it promises us hope.
A: Hope we are not alone.
A: As always, we don't want to just let you go, we want to give you something to remember about our Advent window in 2021.
Carry a light into the world. You all got a bag so that you might think about it until next year. Take it home with you, that's what it's meant for.
R: And as always, there's mulled wine and a few cookies.
But first I have to get the cups.

We are really happy that so many of you turned up, and we would like to say thank you again to the people who took part, and maybe also to the recording - Christoph, when will it be broadcast.

Tina Cerovsek (off-screen): December 22nd.
Roland: On Wednesday
Anne: It will be on the youtube channel of the protestant parish.

We would be happy if as many of you as possible would stay. Roland is going to get the cups right now. We say thank you again for coming, and we hope that we were able to get you in the mood a little, yes, ...

The visitors clap and the picture slowly goes dark.

[Credits at the beginning of this article]

Historische Forschungen · Roland Geiger · Alsfassener Straße 17 · 66606 St. Wendel · Telefon: 0 68 51 / 31 66
E-Mail:  alsfassen(at)  (c)2009

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