Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday

         What do you do on a Holy Saturday when you have no pastoral or family responsibilities? Martha and I could not remember a Holy Saturday without preaching or family responsibilities. We’ve always spent the Saturday before Easter getting ready: for the Sunday service and sermon, for family guests and the big feast, for guests who would be coming to join us (or us going to other friends’ homes). I’ve always been in a flurry of activity from Palm Sunday through Easter afternoon. Now we are here in France with no preaching, teaching, or hosting responsibilities (Martha is making devilled eggs for the meal we are going to tomorrow). So this afternoon we went hiking on a trail above our village.
         About 3 km into the hike we saw a sign painted “Minhir”. So we took the off trail to a standing stone. Minhirs are prehistoric standing stones of some religious value. They are found all over our area. People had been here long before WWII, WWI, the French Revolution, the Reformation, or even the Roman Empire. Minhirs echo ancient peoples.

 When we got back into our car to wander, we saw a sign that said “Tombe”. So we parked the car and walked up to this circular mound of stones that are reputed to be about 800 years before Christ! Dignitaries were cremated and then interred under a circular pile of stones on a high spot in the hills. 800 years before Jesus??

Back in the car, we wandered down narrow roads just to see what we would find. Off to the left after driving an hour was a sign “XIth cent Church”. And there was this beautiful little stone church, complete with stained glass windows perched off a little road. Locked up, no sign, no program, no parking, just a church from the year 1000 AD. How’d that get there? Who built it? Who attended?
         That’s what we did on Holy Saturday.


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