Sunday, November 12, 2006

Grace Episcopal Church

A modern church typical of the 1950s when it was built, Grace Episcopal was the next stop.

This church also had its share of Katrina woes. The notes comment on this:
"Katrina's flood waters inundated the church, which made national news because parishioners worshipped on the front sidewalk for many weeks. They are now inside and the sanctuary is air conditioned, but the church is sparsely furnished and a disassembled organ sits on the nave floor. The four-foot water line is still evident and the church complex is under renovation. A large Chartres Cathedral-style labyrinth has been painted on the concrete floor."

The labryinth on the floor was very intriguing and I liked the design.

I was first most struck by the large mural on the wall opposite the altar. The figures are presented at odd angles and it doesn't strike me as peaceful in anyway. However I do feel it demonstates the power of God reaching into mankind and showing the higher power instigating the ascention of Christ. Both murals in this church are by John McCrady.

The windows are designed to be "ribbons of light" as Harriet told us (she did the presentation for this church). I was struck by the incorporation of written scripture in the windows but placed in such a way that the letters and words are played with. You have to find the words and place them together yourself in a lot of cases and yet you're also forced to appreciate the form of letters as autonomous symbols in of themselves.

The first window Harriet presented to us is one of the most unsusual windows I've ever seen in a church. There are two soldiers in green fatigues and one is bayonetting the other. I've never seen such a violent act portrayed in a church window before (of course with the exception of the crucifixtion!).

We were then led into the small chapel attached to the church - going through this gorgeous iron gate.

The chapel was my favourite. The windows are wonderfully abstract blocks of colour and light. They reminded me of the work of the artist Paul Klee.

I liked the peaceful quality of the altar.

The question of the day became the debate as to the nature of the "bird" in this window in the chapel. Is it the holy ghost as a dove (follow the line through in a sweep)? Is it a chicken?

I like the chicken idea - keeps us humble!!

1 comment:

HORIZON said...

l found this post really interesting- just finished (yesterday) reading 'Labyrinth' by Kate Moss. She talked about Chartres Cathedral too. l need to go there.
Thanks for that :)