Stories and Traveltips

ID #5002

Nachtmaal (Holy Communion), Graaff-Reinet, Karoo, Eastern Cape.

Parishioners looked to the Dutch Reformed mother church (Moederkerk) in Graaff-Reinet for spiritual leadership. When Andrew Murray became minister (dominee), he discovered that his parish extended for hundreds of miles. Where there was no minister he stepped into the breach. He officiated regularly at Cradock for several years. After the death of Reverend Taylor he paid quarterly visits until a new minister arrived. These quarterly visits usually coincided with nachtmaal (communion). For thirteen years, until 1836, he also paid quarterly visits to Colesberg, three days ride from Graaff-Reinet. Farmers within a hundred-mile radius converged upon the village. Services were usually held over three days. On Monday morning parishioners could visit him in his room in the home of his host for “huis-bezoek” These visits often kept him away from home for more than two weeks. Considering the state of the roads, the treacherous mountain passes and the mode of travel, he must have been blessed with a hardy constitution. His wife Maria, who was sixteen when they married and who bore him sixteen children, must likewise have been exceptional.

Graaff-Reinet is on the N9 south of Middelburg, which is at the intersection of the N9 with the N10. ASNachtmaal

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Last update: 2014-05-14 01:42
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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Comment of John Jaworski:
Thank you for the info. I trust that it is accurate. I'm reading Michner's 'The Covenant' and simply wondered what Nachtmaal was, particularly in reference to South Africa. Thanks again,\ John -Devon, AB, Canada
Added at: 2012-09-02 17:45