Friday, December 27, 2013

A mural - the Communion of Saints with whom we worship

Here is something a little different! 

It is the mural from the sanctuary of the (Episcopal) Church of the Holy Comforter, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, USA, a representation of the Communion of Saints with whom we worship. There is really nothing like it anywhere else. The mural was painted in the 1950s and depicts the Church militant, Church expectant, and Church triumphant. 

(CLICK on the image to enlarge it)

At the bottom there is the rector at the time, the Rev. Mr. Hodder, being ordained. Above the ordination are rings of saints, ascending up to a depiction of the Holy Trinity. Surrounding the whole scene are angels, including one carrying a chalice and another carrying a paten. Servers hold prayer books with type so large you can actually read it if you are standing directly below. 

The three central patriarchal figures are an ecumenical group: Pope Pius XI (in his papal triregnum) (d. 1939), William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1944), and Benjamin, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 1935). Of course, it is slightly presumptuous having the Archbishop of Canterbury as the centre of Christian Unity!

Trying to work out who else is depicted is a bit of a challenge. It looks like as if Thomas Cranmer and Thomas More are shoulder-to-shoulder on the right. There is also Our Lady, and St Hilda of Whitby.

The website of the parish is HERE.

The blog of the Rector is HERE (a good source of classical Anglican quotations)


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