Saint Stephen’s collegiate Church in Capestang, Languedoc-Rousillon France, was built in the 14th century but never completed. Gothic architecture has the feel of a cathedral, with a large open ceiling, and beautiful stain glass windows.
The Collegiate Church of St. Etienne, started in the 13th century has remains of an older church thought from the 11th century underneath it.
If the plans were carried out, it would have been the largest church in the region.
The Sunday choir voices carry through the church, and really gives a sense of singing to the heavens. If god gave us our ability to sing, then this is where he comes to hear us. The choir is made up of a handful of retired locals, but the tune carries, and harmonies fly as we pray.
Throughout the church little alcoves reveil different statues; one of Mary, another of a priest, and many of Jesus on the cross. Murals tell stories along the walls, and a peace can be found in this cool retreat, a place where if the walls could read minds they would tell stories of love and loss, sin and forgiveness.
Many generations have brought their children here to be Christened, married and later buried to rest in the church cemetery near by, across the Canal du Midi.
We came to service today. I ask for some peace, find some calm and to pray for some answers. Even though I can not understand the sermon, I still manage to find what I am looking for.
Angelina listens to the congregation sing the traditional hymns, and her big brown eyes browse the church. She asks me what the pictures are about. I tell her it is a story of Jesus, leading his people with love and teaching them to forgive each other. All you need is love, I continue, quoting John Lennon.
I tell her the story of how Jesus carried the cross, that he died for our sins, and that all we have to do is ask for forgiveness. I spent the hour, whispering answers to all her inquisitive questions. I thought wow she is learning so much from this 1 hour alone with me at church, more than 1 year in Sunday school back in White Rock, BC.
After we get home, I hear her saying to her self: all you need is love.
I guess some can sum it up better than others.