On one of our Sunday afternoon drives (a French custom and also to give our son some driving practice and to get away from too much screen time!), we visited a gorgeous typical Ardèche village. As we have wound our way around many of the roads here, we are struck by the number of cemeteries with a magnificent view of the country side. Have to say that Ardèche is very hilly.
NB the word 'cemetery' comes from latin 'coemeteruim', greek 'koimeterion' meaning 'sleeping place'. Reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
Did you know that since the Wars of Religion spanning the 1598 to the 20th century, Protestants buried their dead in their own family plots near the family house? They weren't allowed in the Catholic cemeteries, which were consecrated ground. In the town where we live, the cemeteries only became mixed after World War 2 when space became a problem and secularism more militant.
1598 Edit de Nantes which gave Protestants the right to their own religious practices, but outside the towns and cities
1685 the Annulment of the Edit de Nantes which insisted that Catholicism be the only religion in France. This was linked to loyalty to the King.
1787 Protestants regained the right to practise their faith as they wished.
Death is the great equalizer. What happens after you die? Do you have the right view of eternity?
The Protestant Church in the village we explored on Sunday. The French Reformed Church has now united with the French Lutheran Church to form the Protestant United Church (Eglise Protestante Unie). This building was built in the 1500s, destroyed in 1600s, rebuilt 1822. Inside is a portable pulpit used for the services held in secret in the countryside during the persecution period.