The information we had led us to believe that a bus would leave Céligny
in time for us to make it to early worship at St. Peter's and have time
for the tour of its underground archaeological dig and the nearby
Reformation museum. So we packed up our day's necessities and
sauntered down to the bus stop. To our consternation, the
information we had was wrong. However, we did get a chance to take
some nice shots of the center of town.
By the time the bus and train got us into the city, we missed getting to
worship, but at least the weather was much drier today.
The University of Geneva, at the base of
the hill of the old town.
If you turn left from facing St. Peter's and continue a little way, you
will find the Reformation museum. We were advised by friends to
make this stop, as we might find it enriching. Donald, of
Institute meal fame, was of the opinion that its view of the Reformation
was slanted, but wondered what we would think.
Among the displays in the International Museum of the Reformation were
indulgence certificates, on which Pope Leo the 12th guaranteed the
bearer exemption from divine punishment in Purgatory; a dinner table set
with Calvin at one end, and seated in order of their agreement with him,
other luminaries of his age; a vernacular Bible, burnt at the edges,
which was used by Reformed believers but hidden in the hearth from
Catholic authorities; and recorded samples of organ-accompanied tunes of
the Reformation era and later. The quote that follows gives an
idea of how music was used in newly Reformed worship.
On the whole, the impression I got was that the Reformation what
completely good and the Roman opposition entirely the contrary.
The audio-visual presentation was especially sharp in this
regard, and though they have a point about the abuse of power in the
church, I felt it was more than a bit overwrought.
The Reformation had a special affinity for (congregational)
music. Luther invented the chorale, Calvin developed the use of psalms,
while Clement Marot, and especially Theodore de Bèze, took on the task
of translating the psalms into French verse, a project they completed in
1562. Outstanding musicians such as Claude Goudimel set these to music,
and they soon became famous. The Genevan Psalter thus spread to all the
French-speaking Protestant communities and was adapted in several
Calvin believed that singing had a great power to “move and inflame the
hearts of men (sic)
to invoke and praise God with a more vehement and fervent zeal.”
For music has a “secret and almost incredible virtue to move the heart.”
During the church service, Calvin wanted the congregation to
sing in unison so that everyone could take part in the singing of
psalms. In a domestic setting, however, one could add voices, use
instruments, transcribe, and paraphrase the psalms. Musicians took full
advantage of this freedom, and used well-known hymn melodies as a basis
for the most diverse compositions.
From the Reformation Museum we took a break for lunch at a local
restaurant. I was tempted by another patron's enjoyment of a pot
of cheese fondue, but James opted for a sausage plate. Both were
palatable; the fondue was fun to eat.
Next up was the archaeological dig under the cathedral. Here
follows a sampling of the sights buried under the present worship space.
A model of the former
foundations, previous to the present cathedral.