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Religious Life

The Clergy Benches

Clergy benches

The Clergy Benches are placed within the circle of pews in order to remind us that service to the world is the task of the whole congregation and not of the minister only. The three benches have symbols which echo the theme of the nave itself as well as individual symbols in the gold, purple, and red windows.

The Hand of GodThe Hand of God

The hand is used as a symbol of God and was the only such symbol seen for the first eight centuries. The origin of the symbol of the hand is obvious, as frequent references to it are made throughout scripture, "The hand of our God is for good upon all that seek him." (Ezra 8:22); "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." (I Peter 5:6) The symbol of the hand is used in various forms, the most familiar of which is in the act of blessing as illustrated here. This symbol, from the Latin tradition, represents with the three open fingers, the threefold quality of the blessing - "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The rays of light extending from the hand are ancient symbols of divine power. The symbol of the hand also appears at the crown of the gold window.

The Standing Lamb with the Banner of Victory

The Standing Lamb with the Banner of Victory

The lamb is standing here, no longer wounded, signifying the victorious nature of our Lord's sacrifice. Christ, the lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world and comes in new life to the community of faith. The tri-radiant nimbus is an indication of divinity. The symbol of the lamb with the banner also appears, in slightly different form, in the gold window.

The Descending Dove




The Descending Dove

Symbolic of the Holy Spirit, the dove also appears with the tri-radiant nimbus. The symbol of the dove also appears at the crown of the red window.

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