Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Reading" St. Barnabas V

This is the last in the series of reflections on the symbolism built into the worship space of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Sanctus Light & Tabernacle
The Sanctus Light, or Presence Lamp, which hangs behind the altar, burns when there is any "reserved sacrament" near the altar. The Reserved Sacrament is Bread and/or Wine which has been blessed, but not consumed, at Holy Eucharist. The Bread is also called the “Host” from the Latin hostia which means victim.

The reserved Sacrament is kept in the wooden Tabernacle suspended beneath the Sanctus Light.
In our sacramental understanding, God uses physical objects as means of conveying grace. The bread and wine, once consecrated at the Eucharist, continue to be active agents of grace and are worthy to be reserved and venerated.
It is customary to bow reverently when passing by the Reserved Host as an acknowledgement of the presence of the Holy Gift.

Stained Glass Windows
St. Barnabas has two stained glass windows. Like the Baptismal Font, Altar, and Processional Cross, these were designed by liturgical artist, Richard Caemmerer.
The stained glass window behind the altar is the Pentecost Window. This window depicts the flame of the Holy Spirit and the flames that danced above the heads of the disciples in the Upper room on the first day of Pentecost. May that same Spirit enflame the community that worships here.
The stained glass window at the entrance is the Resurrection Window. This window conveys a sense of dynamic upward sweep that culminates in a crown, signifying that Jesus Christ is risen as Lord of lords and King of kings. It reminds us that every Sunday is an Easter celebration of the resurrection, the foundation of our faith and hope. May it encourage us to live as resurrection people.

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