It has been a habit for about 700 inhabitants of a small Belgian village in Brielen to have a get together after the mass to have some beer. The Sunday habit encountered a glitch when the only bar in the village closed down. The regional priest who at times also join in at the customary beer after the mass was more than happy to hold the tradition. . . by turning the church into a bar just right after the Sunday mass.
It could be said that liquor is the drink of the devil, however the Protestant church in Brielen is using the brew to make the faithful happy and to keep the flock closer to God. The tradition of a fil up of beer after mass was in danger of being abandoned or the option of travelling to the neighboring towns just to keep the tradition going.
The regional priest saw the importance of the customary drink after mass and decided to ask the regional authorities of the church for permission to for his plans to turn the church into a bar after the Sunday mass.
When permission was given, the announcement was made that every Sunday, everyone is welcome to have some drinks at the church and drink as much beer as they can. The invitation extends to all and is not exclusive to church members. Everyone is welcome according to the priest.
With the support of the towns folks, the church turns seem to transform into an authentic bar after the mass as wooden chairs and tables all with white table cloths to make the ambiance feel as though one is really at an old pub.
Anyone can drink as many beer as they can but there are rules that needs to be followed. The most important rule is that for someone to be allowed to the bar, that person should first attend the Sunday mass. This serves the church’s objective of brining in people to be close to God, the parishioner then gets the bar experience after the mass. . . It’s a deal that makes everybody happy.
To also keep the church from turning into a place of decadence, music and dancing are prohibited in the church. . . err. . . bar. Also, the bar. . . err. . . church closes at 1:00 in the afternoon so everyone should be out by then. This would provide church goers. . . err bar drinkers. . . the parishioners to be exact to have sufficient time to drink a good deal but not too much to get too drunk.
Well, maybe it’s time to hear mass and be close to God one again while having a couple of beers in the process.