Saturday, October 15, 2016

Girouette Coq
Weathervanes

Weathervanes, or perhaps more correctly named windvanes, appear very frequently in France; particularly atop church steeples.  In this part of France the coq or rooster is by far the prevalent character depicted on girouettes high above the streets.

Rooster Weather Vane
Symbolism of the Coq or Rooster

It is not easy to find two coqs alike, yet they most likely share a common symbolism.   Then again perhaps not..... for the French do not seem to agree on symbolism either.

Some refer to Mathew 26:34 in the New Testament; suggesting that, learning from Peter and the coq crowing, we remain vigilant in our witness of Jesus Christ.
Vigilance in Witnessing Jesus Christ
Reminder to Pray
Why a Girouette Coq?

Some put forth the idea that the coq awakens the world each morning with a call to remind us of the need to begin the new day with a prayer.

Others say that it is the chant of the coq that awakens us each new day to the fact that light has victory over darkness.

Still others contend that the coq symbolizes one who braves lightning to watch over the four cardinal directions - meaning the entire world.  For usually one finds bold indicators of North, South, East and West just underneath the coq. 
Light's Victory over Darkness
Symbol of France

Meanwhile, it is well know that the rooster has long been a major symbol of France itself.  It seems the Romans mixed up a couple of words and Gaul (predecessor of France) was close enough to rooster that Gaul and Rooster became interchangeable.

Who knows where the truth lies?  As for me, I think someone somewhere along the line liked the rooster enough that they made a coq windvane and put it on their church and with time others came to like it too and so they put one on their church.   After awhile every church in France came to have a coq.   Because they are so high up and difficult to reach, no one wants to make the effort to take their's down.  So now we have Girouette Coqs all over the place.
Watching Over the World




 Faithful Branch Members

Sister Isabelle Biver
Brother Laurent Biver
The largest family in the Carleville-Mezieres Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Biver family.  It is pronounced nearly as we pronounce beaver in the United States.  This faithful family consistes of mother, father, a 30 year old son Emeric, a 26 year old daughter Florine and a 22 year old daughter Clara.  The Bivers have been members for more than 20 years.

Sister Biver now serves as the President of the Relief Society.  She enjoys photography and thus is considered the Branch photographer.  She has photos of nearly everything that happens in the Branch.  She enjoys time with her family, has an unusual sense of humor and is not that talkative.  

Brother Biver currently serves as the Branch Clerk.  He has served in many callings, including that of Branch President.  He works as a surgery nurse at a local private hospital.  He enjoys teaching with the missionaries and is excellent at fellowshipping all members.  He enjoys spending time with nature and is very proud of the Ardennes where there is ample opportunity to enjoy the beauties of nature.

While all three of their children have been living at home, they are beginning to brace themselves for life as empty nesters.  Their son Emeric recently left home for work in Bordeaux, France.  Their oldest daughter Florine is engaged to an American and hopes to have her US visa soon.  Clara the youngest is currently preparing for a mission.  Losing these three adult children will have a great impact on our little Branch and we too are trying to prepare ourselves for the Bivers becoming empty nesters!

The Bivers live in a typical older row type home in a small village about 20 minutes from Charleville-Mezieres.  They are very helpful in transporting other member of the Branch to meetings.

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