The Lord's Table
The dominant symbol of Yeilding Chapel is the communion table centered in the midst of the gathered congregation. This arrangement symbolizes the fact that Christian worship celebrates a Reality which is in the midst of us rather than removed and distant.
The symbols around the table represent the twelve disciples. Each symbol is placed within an arch. The twelve arches are echoed in the interior structure of the nave, reminding us that in the earliest days the mission of the church was entrusted to the Disciples.
Peter - The crossed keys recall Peter's confession and our Lord's gift to him of the keys of the kingdom. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19)
Andrew - Apostle to the Gentiles, said to have preached in Greece. Tradition says that while Andrew was preaching in Greece he was put to death on a cross of this type. He had requested that he be crucified on a cross unlike that of his Lord.
James the Lesser - Said to have worked in and near Jerusalem. According to tradition, in the ninety-sixth year of his life he was thrown from the topmost portion of the Temple in Jerusalem and his mangled dead body was sawn in half.
Serpent Rising from the Chalice
John -Bishop of the Church at Ephesus. St. John died a natural death, after attaining a great age, and is said to have been the only one of the twelve disciples not to die a violent death. Various attempts were made on his life, but he was miraculously spared. Early writers state that there was an attempt made on his life by giving him a poisoned chalice. Therefore, he is represented by a serpent rising from a chalice.
Cross and Loaves
Philip - Tradition says he was a missionary to Phrygia and Galatia. St. Philip is said to have been a martyr either by crucifixion or the spear. Another strand of tradition indicates that he was bound to a cross and stoned to death. A cross and two loaves of bread symbolize St. Philip because of his remark when Jesus fed the multitude. "Two hundred denarii wound not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." (John 6:7)
Bartholomew - Said to have probably worked around the borders of India and Armenia. Symbolized by a scimitar because of the tradition that he was flayed alive, crucified, and decapitated.
Square and Spear
Thomas - St. Thomas was an evangelist in Persia and India. In India he is said to have built a church with his own hands. St. Thomas was shot with arrows, stoned, and left to die alone. A pagan priest then ran him through with a spear. Thus he is represented by a square and a spear.
Matthew - After preaching to the Hebrews in Palestine, he went to Ethiopia. Concerning the manner of St. Matthew's death, nothing is definitely known. Some say he died a natural death, while others say he suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia by crucifixion and then decapitation by a battle-axe.
Sword and Escallop
St. James the Greater - Traditionally said to have travelled and preached in Spain. The escallop shell is the symbol of pilgrimage by the sea, and the sword symbolic of martyrdom. The escallop, being a symbol of pilgrimage, stands for the zeal and missionary spirit of this apostle.
Inverted Cross, Spear, and Club
Jude- Various traditions and legends place St. Jude's labors in Mesopotamia, Pontus, and Armenia. The exact way in which he died is not known. One writer says he passed away peacefully at Edessa. Jude is represented by an inverted cross, lance, and club because tradition indicates that after being clubbed and lanced, he was crucified on an inverted cross.
Fish and Hook
Simon - Nothing of the scene of Simon's labors is authentically known, but some traditions associate him with the region east of Palestine, while others say he went to Persia, or to Africa, and that he accompanied St. Jude on his journeys. Historians suggest that he was martyred by beheading or being sawn asunder. A fish and hook symbolize the disciple Simon, denoting that he was a fisher of men through preaching the Gospel.
Thirty Pieces of Silver and Rope
Judas - Judas, according to the New Testament, acted as treasurer for the twelve disciples. During the last days at Jerusalem, Jesus knew that Judas was betraying him, as Matthew records the story, for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). The Gospels tell us only that Judas, by kissing Jesus, pointed him out to the crowd who had come to arrest him. When he saw that Jesus was arrested, Judas tried to return to the priests the thirty pieces of silver with which they had bribed him. When they would not take them, according to Matthew, Judas hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3-5) Therefore, Judas is represented by a piece of rope, formed in the letter "J", and by thirty pieces of silver.