Info

Reformed insistence on burying unbaptized infants along with their relatives and 'other Christians' on the grounds that the parents' faith was effective for their child. Some Calvinist congregations mitigated their prohibition on instrumental music and reintroduced organs from the end of the sixteenth century. Overall contrasts remained, to be sure, but ecclesiastical ceremony continued its visible evolution.

Religious choices

In the Netherlands, because no single religious group was able to ally itself with the governing echelons and become the one permissible creed, citizens had the tacit liberty - in an age that did not advocate such liberty - to select among several available churches, including Anabaptist. In the great cities of the northern Low Countries, especially in Amsterdam, liturgical contrasts were in evidence. Catholic congregations carried on their multiple masses in as highly ornamented surroundings as the wealth of the people allowed. The Virgin Mary and other saints retained their iconic prominence, and women other than the Virgin were well represented in the holy precincts. The churches taken over by the Calvinist-minded were completely reconfigured, their altar-steads boarded up, walls whitewashed, pulpits placed high along one side of the sanctuary, with a plain communion table at their base. Huguenots in some circumstances were able to build new churches, and these were architecturally innovative, embodying Reformed theology.30 Pews proliferated in all denominations from the mid-sixteenth century. In Calvinist churches, these were gathered around and faced the pulpit. In such a mixed and densely populated setting, Christians may have gained a casual familiarity with a range of liturgical styles and the teachings that they were intended to bespeak. Not even those congregations that desired to bar non-members from their sacred premises could always succeed. In time, godparents and courting couples crossed confessional lines and had to be allowed. Church discipline could be imposed only with the consent of the targeted members.31

Patterns ofinfluence can be traced between Zurich and Geneva andbetween Geneva and the Huguenot churches of France, the Reformed congregations of the Low Countries, Presbyterian parishes of Scotland, and Puritan pastors

30 Raymond A. Mentzer, Jr, provides an especially fine overview in 'The Reformed churches of France and the visual arts'.

31 See, for example, Houston, 'The Consistory of the Scots Church, Rotterdam', and Catterall, 'The rituals of Reformed discipline', Archive for Reformation History 94 (2003), 194-222.

0 0

Post a comment