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From Moravian Simplicity to Episcopal Exuberance with a Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross by Margaret Almon
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Celtic Episcopal Cross by Margaret Almon in orange, azure and cobalt blue, glass, gold smalti, millefiori center, on slate, 6×8 inches.

I grew up in the Moravian Church, which is Protestant and often modest, plain and simple in church buildings.  I suspect my home church, Edmonton Moravian, falls in the category of mid-century modern, which is the descriptor of much of my built world in the 1970’s.

 

Edmonton Moravian Church
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Edmonton Moravian Church via Stella Blu on Flickr.

The flat roof puzzles me, since surely it was a resting place for several feet of snow every winter.  The font for the Moravian Church sign is san serif, and simple.  Those 3 entry doors opened into a foyer lined with coat racks for all the winter garments.  As a girl, I loved being surrounded by the friendly people of this church, as I looked for my coat after service.

 

Amber Windows at Edmonton Moravian Church
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Amber Windows at Edmonton Moravian Church via PinkMoose on Flickr.

I remember writing a poem, searching for imagery to describe the sanctuary: a bungalow rec room.  Looking at a photo many years later, I see Danish Modern with the blonde wooden pews.

 

Edmonton Moravian Sanctuary with Ritchie Trombone Choir
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Edmonton Moravian Sanctuary with Ritchie Trombone Choir via their Website

The first Catholic sanctuary I entered surprised me with the sheer quantity of decoration, color and sparkle.  Stratoz attends an Episcopal church, more ornate than my childhood church, but not overwhelming.  I discovered that the Celtic cross form, with the halo, is also referred to as an Episcopal cross, and Stratoz’s church has several of them.

Let Justice Roll Down.
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Let Justice Roll Down. Holy Trinity Episcopal, Lansdale. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

I ponder my travels from the plain church into a love of liturgical art with color and iridescence, and my most recent Celtic cross in orange and shades of blue.  The simple is beautiful in its own way, and I responded to that whole-heartedly.  I also was surrounded by beautiful music, as Moravians cherish music, and yes, trombones.

For a musical treat check out Ritchie Trombone Choir’s mp3’s, including the graceful Handel and the swinging Green Dolphin Street.

 

Sarabande
by: Georg Friedrich Händel


Green Dolphin Street
by: Ned Washington

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