I went to church!
Trip Start Mar 21, 2012
28Trip End Apr 19, 2012
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The minister preached from the 1500s' pulpit and he was less "preachy" than I had expected. He appears pretty switched-on and I will know more soon, as he invited my family to the official minister's residence on Thursday rather than him visiting our house as planned. My mother had actually said to him earlier that I would like to see the house (Præstegården). I had never uttered a word about that but am very pleased to catch a glimpse of this place built back in the 1800s. I haven't been there since I was 14, some 50 years ago where our confirmation preparation took place there
The church has several employees other than the minister: the "church singer", the organist and two "grave diggers" There used to be a bell ringer but that is now electronically controlled. The church singer is an interesting man, who has a small vineyard and has been to New Zealand, especially nelson, to study viticulture. He has propagated vines grown in a newly established area of the cemetery. He expects they can grow their own communion wine. He sings very well, too.
The organist plays superbly on a great organ.
Two grave diggers do a variety of jobs. Firstly, they maintain the cemetery. Families can choose to have their grave sites maintained and to which degree, We are just working that out for ourselves. We expect to choose a 30-year maintenance plan with spring and summer flowers for 10 years and cover in winter for 10 years with - I will call it "Christmas tree branches." The cost: NZ$7,726.
The grave diggers attend to the services in the church, receive flowers at funerals, decorate the church for Easter and communicate as needed with the parishioners
Church tax is 3% for tax payers, who have not resigned from the official state church. They pay a great deal more for burials etc than those who pay church tax.
After church Sanne arrived with yummy lunch of smoked eel, eggs, red herrings and cheese. Ebba came, too. We first decided on the gravesite maintenance plan we wanted, then went to look for suitable plants for the site. My mother wants rhododendrons but they have to be small enough to fit on either side of the stone. I preferred on type and the rest another. I suppose I could just not care because I am so far away but I felt it needed a bit of checking out.
One rhododendron is Williamsianum 'Tromba', which grows to a metre in height, while 'Baden Baden' grows to just 40cm. I will check them out on the Internet and also check their root system and general condition. I might also consult the grave digger with the most experience for his opinion on height.
Dorte and her daughter Victoria (6) and niece Lærke (7) came visiting. They loved looking at family photos and naming everyone
I took the two little ones out to pick some daffodils and we then went to the cemetery to place them on my father's grave - their great grandfather - in a special vase we had just bought. They got the water and filled the vase. I then showed them their great great grandparents grave stone that used to sit on my father's plot (to which it will be returned when my mother dies!). We talked about how it takes 30 years for the body to turn to soil - "Like with my rabbit did when it died," Lærke said. - After 30 years, another person is able to be buried in that plot as happened with my father. Lærke also commented toVictoria that when a person dies, they don't come back home to their daughter.
We went word spotting for all the plots which said NEDLAGT and one that said MÅ IKKE BENYTTES. I took them home along my old play area as a child, showed them where my best friend lived and where we used to play "Spark til dåsen," a game we may just about have invented. Cool fun!