Apparition de l'église éternelle (Apparition of the eternal church) is a work for organ, written by the French composer Olivier Messiaen in 1932.
The piece is in arch form, beginning in pianissimo (pp) and building up to a fortissimo (fff) climax featuring a C major chord, and then receding back to pianissimo. Richly colored chords alternate with open fifths, on top of a throbbing bass which repeats a simple rhythmic pattern.
Programmatically, the piece describes the appearance of the eternal church, which then fades away. This imagery has been compared to Dante's description of the inferno.
Messiaen described the piece by quoting from the hymn Cœlestis urbs Jerusalem: "Scissors, hammer, suffering, and tests, tailoring and polishing the elected persons, living stones of the spiritual edifice", stating that the throbbing bass depicts the incessant work of construction.
It was possible, but not advisable to follow the registration indications as this piece was composed with the French symphonic organ in mind.
If tried in this recording to make it sound best on the Berlin Steinmeyer, only roughly following the registrations advised.