O joy! O rapture unforeseen! I like to consider myself fairly well versed in symbolism used in the Church, but this past Friday I was schooled by one of you! And that makes me happy.
There is a booklet at the parish that made a good attempt at unlocking the symbolic language used throughout St. Sebastian. Going through it myself I found a few items with which I strongly disagreed with the author. Further, not everything symbolic in the church was deciphered. An example of this would be the three windows in the back hallway of the church which were posted last week on Friday Potpourri. For a couple of years (seeking even advice from all of you) I have been trying to decifer these windows. Nothing seemed to fit exactly. At one point I had decided that the three windows had to do with the sacrament of confession. The first window would be the passion and include the 30 pieces of silver, the whip, and Jesus' cloak.
The second window would be the crucifixion through which He won for us the forgiveness of sins. here is the Cross, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
And then, finally, the sacrament itself with the stoles etc.
The problem is, it worked, but not really. The cloak did not look like anything Jesus would have worn in modern imaginings and the whip looked more stick-like. The second window kind of works but it was a stretch. The third window works but why two stoles?
Mary figured it out! She wins the Adam's Ale prize! These windows represent the traditional three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty but we are expected to live at the plane around which our people live. The unicorn is a symbol of, among other things, chastity. And the hands of the priest here are being wrapped in priest's stoles and connected to Christ's Cross joining their priesthoods as one - a symbol here of obedience to Him. For her full explanation please see the comments on last week's Friday Potpourri.
We are narrowing down the mysteries of the parish! Here is a set of three more windows that are rather mysterious to me. Once again I have an idea of what I think they are but will wait until next week to see if someone can school me again. God bless!