October 2, 1977 - It was great refresher course in architecture. First, the tour guide gave a short history of Gothic churches, those before Notre Dame - St. Denis, Laon, and then after - Bourges - Perfection of Notre Dame, Reims, Amiens. Notre Dame was begun in 1163 under the direction of Pope Alexander III & Maurice de Sully. He pointed out the asymetry and, yet, equilibrium of the building, the orientation of Notre Dame - It was originally oriented toward Jerusalem but then after a couple of hundred years the orientation was changed toward the East. We also read one of the three doors - The Porte of Sainte Anne.
That night I went with the Couraults to a baptism. It was in a Catholic church, St. Julien Le Pauvre, but it's a church which still practices the original litanies, rituals, etc. of a Byzantine church. First the baby was exorcised of all devils and evil spirits. Then, she was baptized by immersion - unclothed. Oil mixed with water was dabbled on her head, hands, feet, back...a symbol of the strength of the Grace of God. Then, she was confirmed, i.e. the catechism that most Catholic children undergo when they are ten or eleven.