Below is the poster for Christmas at the Cathedral 2012, Light Eternal. If you want to know why it is what it is, I’m telling you now.
When I hear the words “Light Eternal,” I have to reflect back on the magnificent architectural characteristics that bloomed from the early Byzantine empire. The floating domes and stained glass – artists’ use of light to create a forever-kind-of-beauty – began to shape cathedrals as we know them today.
Light was (and still is, by many) considered the image of God, escaping definition and transforming space into a spiritual vision. Have you ever stood in awe at the beauty of stained glass, or simply at the vibrant colors which are reflected on the walls or floors nearby? The way the sunlight spills through, being filtered and transformed into something greater than itself? Hugh of Saint-Victor said this of stained glass: “Stained glass windows are the holy scriptures…and since their brilliance lets the splendor of the True Light pass into the church, they enlighten those inside.”
But what I love so much about stained glass is that the light does not only flood gently in, enlightening those inside – it also shines out.
I imagine a winter evening. The sun set long ago, leaving a clear and peaceful darkness blanketing the world. Snow is gently falling outside the rose window of the local downtown church. And what is happening inside the church is spilling outward, illuminating the quietly falling snowflakes. There is music, warmth, hope, and light shining in the darkness. There is the presence of God among us. And it’s spreading from the church out into the world. My hope for us, as we go into this holiday season and new year, is that we share the light, together, for one another. Let’s be a part of the golden chain.
And please join us for Christmas at the Cathedral this weekend. Experience the magic with us.