WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jan Floyd spent Good Friday at Old Salem with her grandchildren teaching them what it means to spend the Easter holiday weekend doing something meaningful.
The family is cleaning nine headstones of their loved ones at a graveyard called “God’s Acre”.
“It’s a tradition that I like to share with members of my family,” Floyd said.
Jan is one of the many who belong to the Moravian church. Moravians have been cleaning headstones during Easter for more than 200 years. John Jackman, pastor of Trinity Moravian Church, said the Protestant denomination believes it’s an expression of their faith in God.
“I think for a lot of people cemeteries are spooky places, but for us it’s a place of worship,” Jackman said.
God’s Acre definitely sets itself apart. The graveyard does not have family plots or the big statues that you would normally see in other cemeteries.
Also, the Moravians bury in groups. The Moravians bury married men side-by-side, and the same applies for women. Single men and women are buried in groups as well.
“You’ll have a bank president buried right next to a janitor. You’ll have a bishop buried right next to a freed slave,” Jackman said.
Jackman is expecting hundreds at Old Salem throughout the weekend. The Moravians will have a Great Sabbath Service on Saturday followed by Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday.