Christiansfeld cemetery, Denmark


 

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January 1, 2016

I started the year by visiting a graveyard … I don’t known if that is a good sign, I hope so.

At the event, yesterday we were celebrating New Year near Christiansfeld and today we decided to visit this village cemetery, the Moravian church colony that is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage since 2015.

The Moravian church, which was created by the priest Jan Hus in the fourteenth century, begun in Bohemia. They called themselves Christian, but not Catholic, they wanted to escape the corruption that, according to them, was habitual by those who ruled the Catholic Church. Their desire was to return to the roots of Christianity. Here you will find information about their journey: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermandad_de_Moravia

A tall, white door gives access to the site, which is open to all. On the door you can read an inscription, it took me a while to find the translation and the origin, (but thanks to Saint-google one finds it all): it is verse 42 of the chapter 15 of the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians from the New testament:

  • 42 So is the resurrection of the dead, too. It is sown in corruption, it is raised imperishable;
  • 43 is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
  • 44 is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there spiritual body.

Here you can find the entire chapter: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/15.42-44?lang=spa

It’s cold, there is a low fog that accompanies us on the tour, transporting us to another time, or in a state of meditation and timelessness. Not a usual cemetery, full of diversity and large sculptures, no, we would say that it is a democratic cemetery, all the tombs are the same, aligned and oriented all at sunrise, like the dawn shows them a new birth to they are resting there. Simple marble plaques with inscriptions.

Men and women are buried separately, curious. I do not know what belief is due, but it’s funny. For all I know the Moravian church believes in the equality of all men, and this cemetery reflects perfectly, no one tomb is different, the nuances bring flowers and ivy for those who remember their dead have been placed and planted around the headstones. I imagine that when the crocus and tulips bloom and the trees surrounding the beds of the tombs, and leaves sprout, they will  illuminate the cemetery with spring greenery and it will will be beautiful and full of life. I would like to go back to see it.

I love these cemeteries that everyone is equal, I guess that’s what I was taught when i was child (my original religion is Catholic, apostolic and Roman): we are all equal in the eyes of God. I recognize that other cemeteries are more colorful and diversity gives them a more festive air (if I may irreverence) and cultural, but doing so  would move away from the beliefs of the Moravian Church. In fact, if you go around in Christiansfeld, you can observe  that this equality in the cemetery is reflected in their architecture, all the houses are identical or similar, there are very few differences between them. You only can sense the variation of shops and decoration of houses, those are in some cases, transparent for the visitor from the outside, because you see through windows from one side of the house  to the other, that is what makes the difference of being in denmark.

 

Written by Mireia Miracle

Sources:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1468

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiansfeld

http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile29312/The-Gods-Acre-cemetery-of-Christiansfeld.htm

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermandad_de_Moravia

http://mb-soft.com/believe/tsxtm/moravian.htm

http://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Unitas_Fratrum

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/15.42-44?lang=spa

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