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Why Do We?

We’re starting a new article for our newsletter called “Why do we…?” Each month, I’ll answer questions posed to me by members of the congregation about how does the church function, why do we worship the way that we do, and what does the Episcopal Church teach about a particular subject. 

This month, someone asked about the cross that we have at the altar. The cross at the altar represents Christ our Great High Priest, the resurrected and triumphant lord standing before the cross, dressed as a priest, to represent us to the Father and the Father to us. This image of Jesus is taken from the Letter to the Hebrews, which describes Jesus as our great high priest. Actually, the cross at the altar is the exact image in the great stained glass window above the altar, where Christ our Great High Priest appears with glory before his disciples, who kneel in humble adoration. You will also notice on the cross that at the end of each arm of the cross there are symbols: an angel, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. These are the ancient symbols for the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The symbolism of our Church is rich with meaning that goes back to the very foundations of the Church. As we come to know and understand the symbols of our faith, they can invite us into deeper contemplation of the wonders of God, of the love of God for us, and the faithfulness of God in all things. Our symbols can speak to us on a level beyond our senses, and call us deeper into the mystery of God.

Fr. Troy+