Friday, November 10, 2017

Even the horse wears a robe

A king rides off to battle in this window from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. It seems like you're pretty much wearing a neon sign saying "I'm the king, so aim at me" by wearing your crown into battle, but what do I know?

Thank you, Veterans, and Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

More murder

Here we have some more battle scenes preserved in church stained glass windows. 
These are from St Chapelle in Paris. The King's chapel, I suppose, is a place where kings like to look at battle scenes and stuff just as much as they enjoy looking at the life of Jesus and other Biblical figures during the service.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nearly (Headless) Wednesday

A detail from a 13th century window from St Chapelle (the private chapel of King Louis IX). Most of the windows in St Chapelle are original but some were removed and replaced. This piece featuring a knight killing a king is now part of the stained glass exhibit at The Cluny Museum in Paris, a museum entirely dedicated to medieval art.

I wouldn't want to sit near this one in church.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Twelfth century stained glass windows adorn one section of Chartres Cathedral in France. These are scenes from the life of Charlemagne (Carolus in Latin). The 12th century glass is mostly blue and red with accents of green and yellow. Check out Charlemagne's chain mail as he rides into battle in the upper left scene.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Madonna with Paratroopers

This is the paratrooper window at Sainte-Mere-Eglise in Normandy, the village where, as part of the beginning of the D-Day invasion, on the night of June 4 and into June 5, 1944, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army rained down on the village to begin the effort to liberate France from German occupation.

The son of the mayor of the village drew this picture as a young teen, and the major commissioned an artist from the village of Chartres to turn it into this stained glass window in the church. It replaced a window destroyed during the war.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Saints at the Foot of the Cross

Fra Angelico depicts the women (along with the Beloved Disciple) at the foot of the cross. Mary the mother of Jesus  in her Marian blue is supported by Mary Magdalene with the loose hair and red robe and by the Beloved Disciple on the right and one of the other women on the left. I love how Mary Magdalene's halo appears to be on the front of her face so that we can see her long red hair (I guess).

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All Faithful Departed

Fra Angelico's rendering (one of many) of the harrowing of Hell, when Christ broke down the gates of Hell (check out the squashed demon under the door) and led all those who had been born before Jesus' time out into the resurrection life.

Today we celebrate All Souls' or All Faithful Departed. Yesterday was focused on All Saints - the martyrs and prophets and big names. Today we commemorate everyone else who has died in the Lord. This day completes the "Fall Triduum" - the three days of All Hallow's Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls Day/Commemoration of All Faithful Departed.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All Saints' Day

6th Century mosaic of women saints at Sant Appollonare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one
communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son
Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those
ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love
you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy
Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

(BCP 245)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Poem for All Hallows' Eve: Hallow-e'en 1915 by Winifred M. Letts

Hallow-e’en 1915
Winifred M. Letts (1916)
clr gif

Will you come back to us, men of our hearts, to-night
In the misty close of the brief October day?
Will you leave the alien graves where you sleep and steal away
To see the gables and eaves of home grow dark in the evening light?

O men of the manor and moated hall and farm,
Come back to-night, treading softly over the grass;
The dew of the autumn dusk will not betray where you pass;
The watchful dog may stir in his sleep but he’ll raise no hoarse alarm.

Then you will stand, not strangers, but wishful to look
At the kindly lamplight shed from the open door,
And the fire-lit casement where one, having wept you sore,
Sits dreaming alone with her sorrow, not heeding her open book.

Forgotten awhile the weary trenches, the dome
Of pitiless Eastern sky, in this quiet hour
When no sound breaks the hush but the chimes from the old church tower,
And the river’s song at the weir,—ah! then we will welcome you home.

You will come back to us just as the robin sings
Nunc Dimittis from the larch to a sun late set
In purple woodlands; when caught like silver fish in a net
The stars gleam out through the orchard boughs and the church owl flaps his wings.

We have no fear of you, silent shadows, who tread
The leaf-bestrewn paths, the dew-wet lawns. Draw near
To the glowing fire, the empty chair,—we shall not fear,
Being but ghosts for the lack of you, ghosts of our well-beloved dead.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Saint Mary of the Floral Halo

This lovely statue of Mary the Mother of Jesus stands watch over the votive stand in the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice. I love her halo.

As we get ready for All Saints', we'll look at some saintly types this week.

Happy Monday!


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