Grace Lutheran Church

HISTORY

Table of Contents

I. FIRST ROOTS

Having determined in 1960 that there was a need for a Lutheran congregation in the growing Ormond Beach community, Lutheran Church in America’s board of American Missions assigned young Pastor James E. Von Holten to get a church started. Soon groups of dedicated Christians were meeting informally in the Ormond Hotel. Interest grew and before long the developing congregation assumed the responsibility for paying a large part of the mission pastor’s salary. Formal organization took place on May 7, 1961. A parsonage was purchased and the present site for a new church was negotiated. 

Continuing to meet in the hotel, the congregation began planning for the future. A building committee was formed and a fundraising program took shape. Members pledged and met their pledges. The church was on its way. Building plans were developed, financing was secured, and ground was broken for the new church on July 21, 1963. It was dedicated December 21st of the same year. 

The young Pastor Von Holten, having completed his mission goal, resigned early in 1965. A pulpit committee was organized and after a search, the Rev. Ralph W. Birk was called on November 7, 1965 to be the new Pastor. The church continued to grow and prosper. By this time, Grace Lutheran Church had achieved its initial mission. It was important to its members and to the life of Ormond Beach. 

After a little less than seven years, Pastor Birk expressed a desire to seek a calling that would permit reduced activity. He resigned July 31, 1972 and again a pulpit committee was organized. Pastor Richard E. Martin of Baltimore met with the committee, preached a sermon at the church, and was offered a call. The call was accepted and he was installed as the third pastor of Grace Lutheran Church on January 14, 1973. 

With continued growth, it was evident that an expanded church facility had to be built. A building committee was appointed, and an in-depth study was made of needs, potential, and cost. This committee was to take two years to complete its work. A new concept in contemporary church building was developed. As an integral part of the new structure, there was to be an area identified as the Garden of the Resurrection. There, loved ones would be interred in sealed crypts and the ashes of cremated Christians would find rest. It was truly the church of the future. 

Plans for a new building were approved and architect Joseph Blais was asked to complete his drawings. The Council and the congregation gave the committee their approval at the various stages of plan development. On Sunday December 14, 1975, ground was broken. 

Dunlop Construction was chosen as the contractor and began work on the Church. Construction on the new building began in February of 1976 with a number of bulldozers going to work. Construction progressed and on May 30, 1976 at 10:00 AM, a Cornerstone Laying Service was held in the incomplete entryway of the Church. The items placed in the Cornerstone are as follows: 

II. THE LITURGY

The Liturgy of the Lutheran Church, as well as the vestments, paraments, symbols and other items, is directed toward a rich and full expression of worship available in the Lutheran tradition. Although we recognize such forms and symbols as “adiaphora,” they are nonetheless important and helpful aids in our approach to the proper and dignified worship of God. Worship ought to be proper and dignified, for in this corporate act of the congregation, the Family of God is making its approach to the throne of the Most High.

Various pamphlets and books are available on the details of liturgy, vestments, etc. Therefore, we shall not delve into that here. The important concept to remember in Lutheran worship is that it is a drama of progression. That is, the Liturgy and symbols are moving in their different forms, in a set pattern toward a definite climax. Like a drama, all the things which one sees and hears contribute to the overall effect to set “the stage,” or the mood, for a rewarding and worshipful experience. The words, music, color, and light all revolve around the theme for the day which is established by the season and the scripture lessons.

 Many parts of our worship speak with the voice of the past, resounding in the present, with an echo into the future. Such parts as the collects, now known as the Prayer of the Day (many dating back into the very ancient church), and the creeds were spoken by our mothers and fathers, the saints, in the same words, or much the same words, as we used today and as the Church will be praying and confessing its faith in tomorrow. In this symbolic way we see the Church of All Ages (the communion of saints) joined in a most real fashion together before the Throne of God.

 The Lessons and the Gospel are particularly important in the Service. We stand as we listen to the Gospel, out of respect and honor, as these are the words of the Incarnate God Himself, Jesus Christ. The sermon is the interpretation and application of the Word of God to our own times and conditions.

 Of course, the pinnacle of worship and the worship experience occurs in the Eucharist. The Holy Communion of Eucharist (Greek word meaning Thanksgiving) is God’s greatest gift, blessing, and comfort to us in the Body and Blood of His only Son. This food, not even given to angels, is the true and living Presence of our God who comes to us as we kneel before Him. Our Communion is, in its primary form, with Him. It is also horizontal in its outreach, for it binds us together as brothers and sisters at the altar rail along with our fellow Christians in all parts of the world in the one Body of Christ. 

*”Lutheran worship centers in the Cross of Christ. In it, God speaks and gives to us and we speak and give to God. We participate in the fellowship of the Communion of Saints. We use the forms of worship which the believers of all ages have employed. It is both dynamic and dramatic.”

III. DOCTRINES AND BELIEFS

As this is not intended to be a Theological brief, but rather a simple, short rendering. We shall only touch on the major beliefs, with the understanding that there will be many areas not covered at all. 

1. The Ten Commandments 

These commandments, spoken by God, are moral laws which set forth our duties to God and our neighbors. They are binding upon all people. Of these Luther said that they teach “that God, the only true and living God, declares through them His holy authority and His redeeming mercy, that we may keep His commandments not only from fear, but also from love.” 

2. The Creeds 

We hold, accept, and confess the faith expressed in The Apostles, The Nicene and The Athanasian Creeds. A creed is a short statement of doctrines and beliefs. Using the Apostles’ Creed as a guide, we find the following doctrines or beliefs expressed. 

A. Concerning God – He is a spirit, perfect and uncreated. In the Godhead are three persons: 

1. Father – That person of the Godhead Who created me and all that exists and is constantly creating and renewing His creations. 

2. Son – That person of the Godhead Who redeems me daily and all people that we may be His, live under Him and serve Him. 

3. Holy Spirit – That person of the Godhead Who Sanctifies me (or helps make me holy). He calls me to repentance and faith. He gathers his Church together and enlightens us with understanding and revelation. 

B. Concerning People – We were created in God’s image (which is knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness) – By the fall of our first parents (Adam and Eve) sin and death came upon all (original sin). This renders us unable to do good and inclines us toward evil. Sin may be omission to do good as well as the commission of evil through thoughts, words, and deeds. The consequences of sin are separation from God, eternal death, and condemnation. We, being evil, cannot save ourselves. God, in His infinite mercy and love, without any merit or worthiness on our part, sent His Son to gain for us eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 

C. Concerning Jesus Christ – Christ has two natures; divine and human. He is, at the same time, both God and human (similar, by illustration only, to the way water contains both hydrogen and oxygen). Where we fail to fulfill the whole law, Christ fulfills it for us. Through true faith, belief, and trust in Him, He gains eternal life for us by laying down His own life to pay the debt of our sins. 

Quotation from pamphlet “Lutheran Church Worship”, By Rev. Paul Lang. 

D. Concerning the Church – The Church is the whole body of orthodox Christian believers. It can never be destroyed. It is called the Communion of the Saints because: 

3. Prayer 

(a) The people are consecrated to the holy service of God. 

(b) Because they are sanctified (made holy) in Christ. 

(c) Because saints have fellowship with God and with the saints in heaven. 

(d) Because they have fellowship with each other. 

(e) It is called Catholic because it is the universal Church which transcends all denominationalism. 

(f) Concerning Everlasting Life – This is endless life with God, in the Blessed fellowship with the Holy Trinity, the saints and angels, free from all evil, heartbreak, and temptation.

Prayer is the soul’s (or heart’s) conversation with God. It is a two way street in which we are privileged to come to “Our Father” through Jesus Christ and receive of Him an answer. Most commonly, prayer is addressed to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. However, in the concept of the Communion of Saints, prayer may be addressed to saints only to the extent that they may join their prayer with ours. The answer to prayer comes only from God. 

4. Baptism 

This is one of the two sacraments directly commanded by God through Christ. Baptism… 

(a) Forgives sins (particularly original sin); 

(b) Bestows grace – The power to resist evil and be delivered from death and the devil; 

(c) Gives everlasting salvation to the believer, who by this act becomes part of the Body of Christ. It establishes a covenant between the Father and His child. At confirmation, this same covenant is confirmed and ratified. 

5. The Eucharist (Communion) 

This is the other of the two sacraments directly commanded by God through Christ. In this sacrament we believe that we receive the true and real Body and Blood of Christ. These come to us through the earthly vehicles of bread and wine. Luther described it as “In, under, and with the bread and wine comes the Body and Blood of Christ.” Therefore, there is a change in these vehicles. Though of substance they remain the same, in this sacrament they now convey the true Presence of Christ. In this sacrament, faith is given and nourished, as is true life and the forgiveness of sins is bestowed. As we are constantly in need of the above, we ought to receive communion frequently and as often as it is offered. 

6. Rites of the Church 

In addition to the two sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Lutheran Church recognizes other things (some Christians call them sacraments) as holy rites. Because some are not directly commanded by God or do not use an earthly element to bring us a Divine gift of grace, these are not given the same status or stress of importance as the two sacraments. These include such things as ordination, marriage, and confirmation. 

7. Confession 

Because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of god” (Romans 3:23), confession and absolution are needed by all and ought to be sought by all. When the penitent confesses his or her sins, that person receives in faith the forgiveness of sins which Christ has authorized His Church to declare (Matt. 16 and 18, John 20 and Luke 24). The declaration of grace for the forgiveness of sins or the absolution is ordinarily made by the Church through the ministry. There are two forms of confession and absolution: 

(a) Public Where the congregation as a whole, in unison, uses a general statement of confession and receives from the Pastor, officiating in the priestly role, a general declaration of absolution. 

(b) Private Confession – Although this is neither mandatory nor compulsory, it is available to those who wish private consultation on a particular burden or sin and wish to personally hear the words of grace and forgiveness. Luther stressed that private confession was good (“sunum bonum”) and ought to be retained and practiced in the churches. 

 

IV. ARCHITECTURE AND SYMBOLISM

Grace Church is designed to be both expressive and symbolic of the Christian faith and practice of all ages in a contemporary setting. The Church, in its basic design, is contemporary and yet in its architecture and symbolism it retains the flavor (mood) of the past.

EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH

The first two things one would notice about Grace Church is the massive appearance of the structure and the free standing Cross-tower, which rises over all. The building was designed specifically to have the appearance of strength, as it speaks of the strength and victory of our God. The symbolism is carried through with the exterior Cross which towers over all, as though that Cross is our strength and victory as it towers over our lives.

ENTRY WAY 

As we enter, placed between the glass doors of our entryway is a cross made of aluminum. This serves as a reminder that through the grace of the Cross we enter the fellowship of Christ’s Church. On the north wall, at the corner of the Church entrance doors, is the cornerstone of the church. The stone is from Bethlehem, Israel and was procured for us buy the Reverend Naim Nassar, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church of Bethlehem. Pastor Nassar obtained permission from the state of Israel, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Coptic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church who won and control the great basilica Church of the Nativity which is built directly over the stable cave where Christ was born, to cut a stone from near the entrance to that stable cave. He shipped us the stone and it became the cornerstone of our church. Carved upon the stone is a Jerusalem Cross (or Crusaders’ Cross) which has become a kind of trademark of Christian Israel. The Bible verse which is noted there, Matthew 16:13-19, reads, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phillippi he asked his disciples saying, ‘Whom do you say that I the Son of man am?’ And they said, ‘Some say that thou art Jon the Baptist: some, Elijah and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He saith unto them, ‘But who say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, The Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The Latin inscription on the side of the stone reads “Glory in the highest to God and on earth peace…” 

Also framed in our entryway is a listing of the names of the charter members of Grace Church (1961). Through their faithfulness and vision the work of the Lutheran Church began here in Ormond Beach. 

NARTHEX – BAPTISTRY: HIS BIRTH IN BETHLEHEM 

Entering the walnut trimmed doors we find ourselves in an area called the Narthex. The name is derived from a Greek word meaning reeds. Long ago, this section was divided off from the main body of the church by tall reed-like plants. This area was reserved for non- confirmed members who were permitted to only observe the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist through the slat-like reeds. This similar effect is recreated by the three slatted screens, each with a cross worked into the design. So we are reminded, as we view the altar through the screens, that we receive the blessings from the altar of the Church. Each of these screens is removable to create an additional seating area in the Narthex section. 

Our Narthex area is dedicated to symbolize the birth of our Lord, so here is placed the lovely statue of the Mother of God holding her infant Son. This statue was carved in Italy and made of lindenwood. Also here, in a glass display case, is a hand carved nativity set. This was presented to Grace Church on the occasion of Dedication by the Reverend Naim Nassar, who had it carved from olivewood in Bethlehem during the Christmas Season of 1976. The cross on the east wall was the chancel cross from the original church and was placed in the “Bethlehem” section of our new church, as a reminder that the story of the Cross really begins in Bethlehem. 

Prominent in this area is our baptistery. As the story of our salvation began with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, so our Life in Him begins here in the water of baptism. The railing around the baptistery area contains various baptismal symbols. The fish is an ancient Christian symbol and sign. This connection reminds us that as the fish cannot live outside of water, neither can the Christian live outside the waters of baptism. The sea shell is the protective covering to the life that resides within it, so baptism covers our life with its protection and promise. Tradition states that John the Baptizer used a scallop shell in the baptism of Jesus. The Triquetra is one of the most beautiful symbols of the Holy Trinity. The three equal arcs of the circle denote the equality of the three Persons of the Godhead. The continuously running lines are expressive of their eternal existence as also the lines are interwoven to express their unity. The center forms an equilateral triangle, which itself is a symbol of the Blessed Trinity. Each pair of arcs combines to form a vesica, which is a symbolic way of expressing glory. This total symbol then is an expression of equality, eternity, unity and glory, which is the Blessed and Holy Tribune God. The Eight Pointed Star is called the “Star of Baptism” or “The Star of Regeneration” because the number eight symbolizes rebirth (*In church symbols the number eight, signifying regeneration, represents Holy Baptism, the time of circumcision, the souls saved in the ark, etc….). Baptismal fonts were often eight sided for this reason. One association with the symbolism is that eight souls were saved from the Flood on Noah’s Ark. Another association is that as seven days were used by God in creation and rest, the eighth day then becomes significant of the new creation or regeneration – a divine octave. Yet another tradition for the association of the number eight with baptism is that Jesus was given His Name when He was eight days old at the time of His circumcision and the Christian child receives his or her name at baptism. Proceeding into the baptistery area, one descends the three steps symbolic of the three days Christ spent in the tomb. The Christian baptism is the only death as in the tomb. It is the only death, as here we die to self (the old Adam) and live in Christ. St. Paul said it so well when he wrote (Romans 6:4) “that we go down…with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the Dead…we also should walk in newness of life.” To remind us of this going down into the tomb (or death) of Christ, the Baptistery itself is set below ground level. Here is the only place or time then that the Christian dies and to carry through this theme the steps of the Baptistery are of the same granite as the crypt fronts in the Garden of the Resurrection. 

The font and the surrounding wall and waterfall are of native keystone, quarried off the Florida Keys. It is a fossilized stone showing outcroppings of coral, etc. The baptismal water enters the font via a waterfall, which gives to the water a living sound, for this is the water of the new Life in Christ. The baptismal fonts, which from ancient times were placed at the entryway, were always kept filled with water so that the faithful, as they come to worship and to pray, could dip their fingers into the water and in this physical way remember the Grace of God that covers all their life as His baptized people. Theirs is the unique Gift of the Holy Spirit given in baptism and the fullness of that Gift is shed upon them day by day because of their new birth in baptism. So our font was constructed that the water would be available to be touched that we might remember His sign placed upon us for all time. 

Directly above the font are three narrow slits through which the altar area of the church may be viewed. This visually ties together the two great Sacraments of the Church (Baptism and the Eucharist). In each of these slits is a symbol for the Holy Trinity. The symbol on the left represents God the Father. In the center of an equilateral triangle is the Hebrew letter Yod (7). Yod is the first letter of the Hebrew Name Yahweh (“I Am that I Am” – Exodus 3:14) which God first pronounced to Moses. It was the Hebrews that developed the theology and understanding of God the Father to its highest degree. Therefore, the Hebrews’ language was used here. The triangle with three equal sides is used to represent the Trinity and the rays emanating from the triangle are indicative of the Divine Being representing the glory and holiness of His Name (as Jesus taught us in His prayer… “Hallowed be Thy Name…”). The middle symbol is for Jesus Christ represented by the Chi Rho. The Greek letter Chi (X) is translated as Ch, and the Greek, Rho (p) is translated as r giving the first three letters of His designation as “the Christ”. Below the Chi Rho are the first and last Letters of the Greek alphabet which are a = Alpha and Q = Omega. This refers to the description of Christ in Revelation 22:13, “I am the alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” This Person of the Trinity was symbolized by Greek characters as it was Greek theology that elevated the doctrine of the Logos (Christ – the Word of God) to its highest. The third symbol represents the Holy Spirit. The most used and authentic representation for the third Person of the Trinity is the descending dove. It is based on the accounts of our Lord’s baptism in Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22 and John 1:32. The dove is the earliest form used to represent the Holy Spirit and it is often associated with baptism. Below each wing of the dove is the letter S which stands for the Latin Name of the Holy Spirit, Spiritus Sanctus. It was the Latin or Western Church that developed the theological doctrine of the Holy sprit to its fullest, hence the use of the Latin name. 

Also in this Narthex area is our Book of Remembrance in a glass-protected repository. In this book we honor and memorialize love ones and through this method give thanks to God for them and for various blessings in our lives. 

A memorial board has been planned to show the names of those whose gifts have provided the furnishings and paraments for our church. The visitor will observe that there are no memorial inscriptions on any of the articles donated to avoid distraction from the worshipful atmosphere of the church. 

On Dedication Sunday, the Narthex and baptistery areas were blessed and consecrated by Father Dorsey G. Smith, Jr., Rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Ormond Beach, Florida. 

THE NAVE 

Rounding the corner from the Narthex-baptistery, one enters the area called the nave, which comprises the main body of the church. This term is derived from the Latin word navis, meaning ship. The building faces east so that in worship, the congregation is facing toward Jerusalem, the site of the mighty works of God (e.g. crucifixion, resurrection and ascension). From these mighty acts of God in Christ and from His glorious teachings come the light, which shines into our hearts and lives. Often the great window or windows were placed on the east-end, that the physical light streaming in might remind us of that symbolic and spiritual light that lightens our lives. Going from the west-end of the nave to the east, from the chancel steps to altar, should be an unobstructed center aisle emblematic of the Christian way to God. The baptismal font located, as in early times, near the beginning of this way signifies, even as we touch its water, the ritual and promised purification at the start and through-out our journey. The seating capacity in the Nave is approximately 350. 

MOSAIC – HIS MINISTRY – GALILEE 

After entering the nave, immediately upon the south wall, is the great mosaic picturing a portion of the area on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. The mosaic was done from a photograph of that area taken by Pastor Martin. This area of Galilee was selected to represent this part of our Lord’s life as here His Ministry began and here so many great teachings were given and so many miracles wrought. From the little town of Capernaum, pictured near the center of the mosaic, came some of Jesus’ greatest and most faithful disciples. 

Matthew was the custom agent here in this border town and Peter, his brother Andrew, as well as James and John were fishers here and called Capernaum home. It was near this place, on a grassy plain marked today by wild flowers in our picture, that Jesus fed the five thousand. 

Also to be noticed in our mosaic is the little hill, which rises just above the flowered plain of the feeding of the five thousand. It was to this hill that Jesus retired to escape the multitudes, which pressed upon Him. It was here that Matthew records the event known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1 ff.). On this hilltop, His immortal words were spoken, including those opening statements we call the Beatitudes. In the upper left, as you face the mosaic, is a circle of symbols, one for each of the Beatitudes. 1. The Crown – “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” vs. 3 – The symbol of the crown, from early days, was the mark of victory or distinction. 2. Censer – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Vs. 4) The symbol of the smoking censer represents the prayers of the faithful in their need, ascending to heaven as Psalm 141:2 records it: “Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense.” 3. Wheat – “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” (Vs. 5) – In Christian symbolism wheat suggests the bounty of the earth and the fullness thereof. 4. Scales – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (vs.6) The scales here suggest that the unrighteousness of the world will one day see the scales of God’s righteousness balanced so that justice, equality, and righteousness prevail. 5. Pelican – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (vs.7)- According to legend, the pelican has the greatest love of all creatures for its offspring. So extensive is this love and caring that during times of famine the pelican will pierce its own breast so its young can feed on its own flesh and blood. So the pelican, in her piety, became the symbol for the crucifixion of the Son of God, who in great mercy covers us with His won blood and feeds us. Hence the pelican becomes the symbol for love and mercy. 6. Ewer – “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (vs.8) – The ewer used in the washing of the hands, head, and feet became symbolic for cleanness or innocence and purity. 7. Palm Branch – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Vs. 9) – From the time of the Roman Empire, the palm branch has been the symbol of victory and therefore also of peace. 8. Whip – “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Vs. 10) The whip used on Jesus and in the persecution of many of the saints has thus become the symbol for persecution in general. 

The mosaic is of Italian marble and was fabricated by Rudolph Nobis. On Dedication Sunday, the mosaic was blessed and consecrated by Rev. Delmar Clock, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) of Holly Hill, Florida. 

CHANCEL 

On the east side of the church is the area known as the chancel from the Latin word “cancelli” which means lattice-screens. The “cancellus” or screen was originally used to divide the nave and the chancel areas. Behind this lattice-like screen was conducted the mysteries of the faith by those serving in a ministerial or liturgical capacity. 

To a certain extent the height of the chancel of any church is governed by the length of the nave. Where there are three steps into the chancel they are said to symbolize the need for faith, hope and love in the partaking of the Holy Communion. They also represent the Blessed Holy Trinity. The Sanctuary is always raised one step above the chancel level. This step, called the predulla, surrounds the altar or is that platform upon which the altar sits. The oneness of the predulla represents that oneness which is God in the unity and indivisibility of the Godhead. 

EAST WINDOW 

The first item, however, to catch the eye in our chancel is the breathtaking colorful faceted glass window and the 15 foot cruciform which rises before it. This large east window symbolizes the gift of God in His Son on the Cross and the gifts which arise out of that awesome sacrifice. The gold and white colors at the top represent Heaven, from whence the Gift is given and the darker colors of the bottom symbolize the darkness of this world into which the Gift comes. The tan lines of the matrix near the top display much more movement and point at their angles to express the agony and righteous anger of God as He gives His Son on Calvary’s Hill. Yet as these tan lines sweep downward they become softer (less Angular) and their movement more gentle to convey the mercy and love of God toward us in the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. Pictured at the top is the Hand of God, the Giver. To the left of the cruciform is the Chalice of Suffering with the Crown of Thorns around it. This symbol represents the totalness of Christ’s sacrifice as He received the Cup from His Father’s Hand. On the right side are pictured two of the gifts, which came out of the sacrifice of the Cross. In the upper right is the palm of victory and the candle of eternal life; in the lower right is the Bishop’s crosier and crossed keys representing the ministry of the Church, the proclaimed Gospel, the Sacraments and the Sacramental Rites, from which flow the blessing of the Church to the people of God. 

*When the time came for the church openly to signify in the ornament of the new church-building the inner meaning of the symbolism, the throne of the bishop in the apse was still recognized as representing “the throne of God and the Lamb.” But there was a natural reluctance to figure above it the Person of the invisible Father, though it is surprising how many of the old mosaics do contain somewhere, under the form of a Hand pointing from a numbus or some such symbol, reminder of this aspect of the primitive office of the bishop who sat below. But inevitably the representation concentrated on the figure of the Son who is ‘The express image’ of the Father. In the Western basilicas it is more usually the figure of the Lamb of God – God redeeming – which is set above the throne in the apse. He is at first represented in His triumphant nuptials with the church, later on as ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ By no unnatural development this latter was eventually transformed into a crucifix. As the long Romanesque and Gothic choirs grew out of the short apse of the basilica, the crucifix came to be set as a carved figure within the arch and not above it. 

So the great cruciform of our church stands in the traditional location. The cruciform is but a more contemporary version of the more traditional crucifix. The cross, fabricated just to the west of us here in Florida, is approximately 15 feet in height. Tradition tells us the crosses upon which the “average” criminal was crucified were 10 feet to 12 feet in height. However, for a criminal of special note or importance this was increased to 15 ft. It is believed that such was the situation in regard to the Savior’s Cross. 

The corpus of our cruciform was carved in Italy. It was designed in graceful lines to represent the Christ in blessing as He presides over the worship of His Church. The figure has no carved face for each follower must find the face of Jesus for himself or herself as the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to each believer, and there each must put the face of the Christ that person has come to know carved upon his or her own heart. 

THE ALTAR 

The next item to catch our attention is the altar and surrounding communion rail. A five-ton boulder of Florida keystone forms the base of our altar. This boulder is set in the earth underneath the church and by virtue of this our altar is “in touch” or “in communion with” the entire world. The altar top (called mensa) is raised above this boulder to give a table effect reminiscent of the Messianic banquet. The Mensa is of Italian marble (8 ft. x 3 ft., 6 in. x 1 in.) weighing 3 tons. Incised into the top surface of the Mensa are five crosses, one for each corner, and a slightly larger one in the center, representing the five wounds of Christ. The large center cross has incised over its cross arm “IC” on one side and “XC” on the other: the “IC” being the abbreviation for Jesus (I=J, C=S). Underneath the cross arm is the Greek word “NIKA” which means victory. The altar has been defined as “The place where God and people meet in exchange of gifts.” The altar is always adorned with paraments and linens which also have symbolic meaning. These linens individually, and as a group, by their color and quality mark the altar as a Table of the Lord. The mingling of the always-white altar linens with the changing altar hangings is an everyday witness to the unchangeless Christ in a changing world. The linens upon the altar are taken from the ancient burial cloth of the Jews (a custom which they borrowed from the Egyptians). With these the body of Jesus was wrapped as they prepared Him for Burial. The first cloth upon the altar is then the first cloth with which the body was wrapped and is wax impregnated linen. Over this is a cloth called the fair linen, which covers the top of the altar Mensa and hangs 2/3 of the way to the floor on each end of the altar. The fair linen is one of the oldest altar linens. In 368 it was written: “Who of the faithful is not aware that at the celebration of the mysteries the altar is covered with a linen cloth?” Its name is indicative of its character. Fair refers in Scripture to the best quality, as well as to cleanliness. When Holy Communion is celebrated, a small square of linen called a corporal, is placed in the center of the altar Mensa for the communion vessels to rest upon. The cloth was used by the Jews to cover the face of the one being buried. 

THE PREDULLA 

The predulla, which surrounds the altar, is of Tennessee crab orchard stone. The whole of this area encompassed by the communion rail is called the Sanctuary and is the Holy of Holiest of the Church. 

THE COMMUNION RAIL 

The communion rail is that place where God gathers His saints to bless and strengthen them. We remember how He gathered them of old and so placed in our communion rail are the symbols of some of those ancient saints as well as one symbol for the modern day saints that He calls to Him to be His. 

* Excepts from The Shape of the Liturgy by Gregory Dix 

Beginning with the symbol to the right of the center front gates and circling around the altar, the symbolism of these glass insets are as follows: 

Cross and Crown – The symbol for the modern day saints. It represents for us the victory in and through the Cross of Christ. 

Winged Lion – Mark – Travelling companion of Paul and Barnabas. He was a disciple of Peter and wrote the Gospel from Peter. This Gospel emphasizes the royal dignity of Chris, the Lion of Judah. 

Sword & Shell – James the Great – Herod slew him with a sword. The scallop shell and staff symbolical of pilgrimage to Spain. 

Square and Spear – Thomas – Established the Christian Church as far east as India. *”Legend recounts how he was asked by Gondophorus, King of the Indies, to build him a magnificent palace, but Thomas used the money given him for this purpose to distribute among the poor. The king was enraged and vowed vengeance. It so happened however, that his brother, Gad, had just died. When Gad arrived in heaven, the angels asked him where he would like to live. He pointed to a magnificent palace that stood near by, but the angels told him that he could not inhabit it, for it was the palace that a Christian had built in Heaven for his brother, Gondophorus. Then Gad appeared to set St. Thomas free. The Apostle then explained to the king that, by faith and charity in this world, it was possible to build up a store of wealth in Heaven. Because of this legend, the usual attribute of St. Thomas in art is the builder’s rule or square. 

Book and Knife – St. Matthias – beheaded for preaching the Gospel. He was Judas’ replacement. 

Three knives – St. Bartholomew – He was seized by governor in Armenia and was flayed, crucified and beheaded. 

Fish on a Book – St. Simon Zelotes – The fish because he was a fisher of people and the book because he was a proclaimer of the Gospel. He was said to have been one of the shepherds of Bethlehem. 

Two loaves of bread and Cross St. Philip the loaves of bread used because he is associated with the feeding of the 5,000. The cross because, according to legend, he found the people of Hierapolis worshipping a serpent. Aided by the cross Philip caused the serpent to disappear. It left behind such a terrible stench that many died including the son of the king. Aided by the Cross, Philip brought the boy back to life. Priests of the serpent were angry and put Philip to death some say by crucifixion. 

Crossed Keys and Upside down Cross St. Peter Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven…. Matt 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, that thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” 

Money Bags – St Matthew – Symbolizes previous profession… “Sitting at the seat of custom.” Matthew was a customs officer for the Romans in Capernaum. 

X Cross — St. Andrew – The Governor of Patrae, Greece arrested Andrew, tortured him, bound him to an X Cross to prolong his suffering. It was 3 days before he died. 

Chalice and Serpent – St. John – In Ephesus, Emperor Domitian twice attempted taking his life – once with poisoned wine. John made the sign of the cross over the chalice and the poison escaped in the form of a snake and John drank the wine. He was the youngest disciple – He lived until after A.D.100 and was the only disciple to die a natural death. 

Empty – Judas – “he went out and immediately it was night.” 

Saw – St. James the Less – Cousin of Jesus through Mary — He was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. At the age of 96 he was thrown from the tower of the Temple and sawn asunder. 

Winged Ox – St. Luke — He wrote the Gospel and Acts. He was a physician and companion of Paul. Winged ox emphasizes priesthood of Christ – Ox is symbolic of sacrifice. St. Luke was crucified in Greece. 

Sailboat – St. Jude – related to Mary… He was the brother of James the Less (also called Thaddeus). The sailing ship symbolizes missionary journeys – He went to Syria, Asia Minor, Arabia and Mesopotamia. 

Front Gates – The symbols in these gates refer to the Holy Eucharist: 

Lamb – A symbol for Jesus Christ as referred to by John the Baptiser (John 1:29)…”Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” Thus, out of His sacrifice on Calvary comes that which was prefigured in Holy Communion, “My Body broken…My Blood Shed.” 

Grapes – The grape, like the Eucharist wine, is a symbol of the Blood of Christ. The grape leaf or vine is used as an emblem of the Savior, the “true vine.” 

Wheat – The wheat is symbolic of the bread of the Eucharistic service, which is the true Body of Christ. 

Fish – The fish is the most frequently used symbol for Christ. The five Greek letters forming the word “fish” (ICTHUS) are the initial letters of the five words: “Jesus Christ God’s Son the Savior.” 

Oil cruet, Chalice with Host above it – Unction- This Sacramental Rite is for the anointing and communing of the sick or dying. 

Bishops Crosier with Dove – Ordination – It is generally supposed that the crosier, with the emblem of the office of Bishop, evolved from the shepherd’s crook. It may also be descended from the walking staff common in the time of the Apostles. It symbolizes here the succession of ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit (dove) ordained by the Church since Apostolic times. 

Tongs with Live Coal – Penance – The Sacramental Rite of penance speaks of the confession and forgiveness of sins. This is symbolized by the tongs and the burning coal mentioned in Isaiah 6:5-7, “And I said, Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim’s unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:” 

Dove Confirmation – The Dove is the most frequent representation for the Holy Spirit. In the Sacramental Rite of Confirmation the Holy Spirit is the principal Agent for the Holy Trinity in the Rite of Confirmation. This Rite is symbolized by the downward flying dove. 

CANDLE STANDS 

Eight candle stands adorn the chancel and have in themselves a symbolic meaning. The two standing candles inside the communion rail, at either side of the altar, represent Christ in His Divine and Human Natures. They are the Eucharistic candles and thus are lighted only for communion services. They are to remind us of the True and Living Presence, which comes to us in its completeness even as He walked the road of Palestine long ago. He is present in the Holy Eucharist in both Natures, in, under and with the bread and wine. 

The six standing candles have a variety of meanings, among them that they represent the six hours which the Redeemer spent nailed to the Cross, also the six days of creation: the seventh day, the day of Redemption, represented by the Cruciform in the center. They also symbolize the incompleteness and imperfection of our worship now (the number seven being the perfect number) – that perfect and complete worship is only in the Temple on high before the very Throne of God. They also stand for the six attributes of the Creator: wisdom, majesty, power, love, mercy and justice. When these candles are viewed in separate groups of three they then stand for the Holy trinity. 

THE TABERNACLE 

The tabernacle, as mentioned in the Book of Exodus, was in a tent carried by the Israelites in their wanderings used for worship and sacrifice. The tabernacle, a proper receptacle for the elements used in the Sacrament, is provided in the chancel. In it are stored the bread and wine used in the Holy Communion. From here the Sacrament is also taken to our sick and shut-in so that they also receive the Holy Communion from the Chancel of their Church. Upon the cast bronze doors of the tabernacle is sculptured the victorious Lamb of God. The Sacrament of the Eucharist comes out of the Passover supper of the Jews, which remembers the lamb’s blood on the doorposts in Egypt. Through that blood came for them safety, salvation from death, and release from slavery. Through the Blood of the Lamb of God these same gifts are given with even deeper and eternal dimension and this Passover Lamb of God guarantees for us His everlasting victory. 

ITEMS WITHIN THE TABERNACLE 

Chalice and Paten – These are of solid silver lined with gold. These precious metals are emblematic of the precious Gifts these vessels hold the Body and Blood of Christ. Liturgical law directed that therefore the Body and Blood of Christ should only repose upon the most precious of metals the congregation can afford. The silver and gold for these vessels was collected from the congregation and came in the form of knives, forks, spoons, bracelets, a variety of pins, earrings, etc., which were melted down to create these two lovely items. 

Also stored within the tabernacle are the cruets, which hold the wine for Communion and a small water cruet also for use in the Sacrament. A host box (ciborium) contains the bread for the Eucharist. 

SANCTUARY LIGHT 

The sanctuary light, sometimes called the eternal light, is technically known as a Shekinah. This Hebrew word means “Dwelling.” It was used to name the Presence of God with the Hebrews when they left Egypt and traveled forty years through the wilderness. The “Dwelling” at that time was a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. The Shekinah led the people in their journeys. When the Tabernacle was built, the Shekinas resided within it (Exodus 40:38). It moved with the Tabernacle, and finally settled in Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem. Fire is often associated with God’s Presence. Moses found God in a burning bush. A fire is alive, active, burning. So is God’s Presence. The Shekinah in our church symbolizes His Presence by day and by night. “The Lord is in His Holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” 

THE FLAGS 

Luther Flag: A cross on a heart, resting on the center of the Messianic Rose and surrounded by a circle symbolizing eternity, was adapted by Luther as his own Coat of Arms and as an expression of trust in God. The colors are: gold for the circle, representing eternity; blue for the background of the rose, representing the purity of Christ; black for the cross, representing the death and destruction of sin in the heart of man through the power of Christ’s Cross; red for the heart, representing that although sin is destroyed in the heart, the heart lives and is enlivened in the faith by the very power of that Cross. 

Christian Flag: It is a nondenominational flag and as such is found in many Christian churches. Symbolically, the white field of the flag represents purity and the peace of the Christian faith. The blue corner field stands for the hope of heaven and the red cross upon this field refers to the shed Blood of Calvary. 

THE PULPIT 

The pulpit is found at the front of the chancel on the north side. There is no set rule governing the location of the pulpit, however, tradition dictates that the local seminary of Cathedral shall usually set the precedent for the parish churches. 

The pulpit has a bold and powerful appearance, which symbolizes the message that is preached from it. From the pulpit only ordained clergy, of the orthodox liturgical churches, preach the sermon to the people of God. The message of grace and salvation in the victory and promise of Jesus Christ are here proclaimed with boldness. On the pulpit face is a slab of Italian marble, cut from the same vain as our altar Mensa: in this way, the pulpit and altar are tied together as Word and Sacrament are always one. Incised into this marble is the Apostolic greeting used at the beginning of the New Testament Epistles. It is placed here as a constant reminder to the listener that the word preached from the pulpit is the proclamation, not of just people, but of the Church. It is the Church speaking to this moment of time the eternal message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Carved on the pulpit desk as a forceful reminder to the preacher are the words: “Sir, we would see Jesus” (Jon 12:21). This was originally spoken to the disciple Philip by those Greeks who came one day to see the Lord. They serve here as the request of every worshipper. Thus, the preacher’s task is clear – to so speak as to present Jesus and Him only, to the listener. 

Affixed to the side of the pulpit is the great symbol of our faith, the Cross of Jesus Christ. This Cross and staff is a processional Cross and is carried in the processions of the Church. The use of processional Crosses came into general use about AD 800 although they had limited use at an earlier date – First by Constantine around AD 300 and by Chrysostom around AD 400. The processional Cross symbolizes for us the carrying of the Cross of Jesus Christ before us wherever we go that we may worship, work and live in His light. 

At the center of our processional cross is a sterling silver medallion of the Agnus Dei Symbol, signifying Christ, the Lamb of God. At the ends of the four arms of the Cross are sterling silver symbols of the four Evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John. Their symbols may be traced back almost to the beginning of the Christian era. The four winged creatures mentioned in Ezekiel 1:10 and 10:14, and in Revelation 4:6-8, are used for the four Evangelists. As early as AD 202 Irenaeus saw in the four winged creatures certain characteristics of Christ as given by the Gospels. (These symbols are also in the Reredos.) 

Winged Man: St. Matthew – The Gospel according to St. Matthew begins by tracing the human descent of our Lord, and stressed the humanity of Jesus; hence, the winged man represents St. Matthew. This symbol is for St. Matthew as the Evangelist, not for St. Matthew as one of the Apostles. (Top) 

Winged Lion: St. Mark – The Gospel according to St. Mark begins by describing John the Baptist who was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, and this suggests the roar of a lion. The lion is called the king of beasts, and St. Mark, who emphasizes the royal dignity of Jesus, is represented by the winged lion. (Left) 

Winged Ox: St. Luke – The gospel according to St. Luke gives a very full account of the sacrifice, priesthood, and atonement of the Savior. The ox and calf is the animal of sacrifice; hence, St. Luke is presented by the winged ox. 

Eagle: St. John – From first to last the Gospel according to St. John soars to the very throne of Heaven, as if on eagles wings; hence the eagle, soaring even higher, represents St. John. The other three Gospels, called the Synoptic Gospels, see Jesus chiefly from an earthly or human viewpoint. But St. John soars above by the power of the Spirit to see Jesus as divine, the Son of God. He gives us a spiritual interpretation of the life of Christ. The eagle symbolizes St. John as the Evangelist, not St. John as one of the Apostles. 

LECTERN 

On the side of the chancel opposite the pulpit is the lectern. From the lectern are read the various lessons of Scripture and the Gospel. From the lectern the laity or clergy, not ordained in the orthodox liturgical church, may address the congregation. Affixed to the lectern is a gilt eagle carved in Bavaria, Germany. The eagle symbolizing power, dignity, authority and lofty flight is an appropriate symbol as it relates to Holy Scripture, for resting on the wings of the eagle is the Holy Bible. This also is a representation of the Gospel’s flight into all the world. Standing next to the lectern is another smaller processional Cross. This Cross is from the original Grace Church and is used as a second Cross (or Clergy Processional Cross) in the processions of the Church on high festival occasions. 

THE PASCHAL CANDLE 

In the medieval church there was a symbolic meaning to every aspect of the Paschal Candle: Unlighted, it represented Christ’s death and burial. Lighted, it represented the splendor and glory of Christ’s resurrection. The wick represented Christ’s humanity, and the halo of flame, his divinity. Other candles lighted from the Paschal Candle symbolized Christ giving the Holy Spirit to the disciples. 

This symbolism is most apparent when the Paschal Candle is “introduced” to the congregation in the Easter Vigil on Easter Eve, following the tradition of the early church. The Vigil begins in a darkened church, symbolic of the darkness of the sepulchre, which held the crucified Christ. In the midst of this darkness a new fire is kindled and the Paschal Candle is lit, representing the Resurrected Christ, Light of the world. As the candle is carried in procession into the dark nave, so Christ lights our way out of our darkness. 

The candle is lighted near the beginning of the Easter procession into the darkened nave. 

It is then placed in a tall candlestick on the floor near the Gospel side of the altar. As a symbol of the Resurrection, it is lighted for each worship service during the season of Easter. 

On Ascension Day or the Day of Pentecost, an acolyte extinguishes the candle as the reading of the Gospel concludes. 

After the season of Easter, the Paschal Candle is placed on its stand near the font, as a visual reminder that in our Baptism we are crucified and resurrected with Christ. The Candle is lighted each time Holy Baptism is celebrated. Smaller baptismal candles are lighted from it for presentation to the baptized. 

It is also carried in procession ahead of the casket for funerals, and is placed in its stand at the head of the casket during the funeral rite. 

The Chancel, commemorating the crucifixion of Christ, was blessed and consecrated on Dedicated Sunday by Father George Papadeas, Pastor of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Daytona Beach, Florida. 

PIETA 

Continuing to move to the north side of the Church we come upon the most lovely and moving of the statues of Grace Church. It is a double statue of Joseph of Arimathea holding the crucified One in his arms. Jesus had to borrow a cradle in which to sleep at His birth and so also at His death He had to borrow a tomb in which to sleep. Five hundred years before Isaiah had written: “they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death…” (Isaiah 53:9). So He was crucified between two thieves and borrowed a tomb from a rich man called Joseph of the town of Arimathea who was a follower of Jesus. Joseph received the broken Body of our Lord as they removed Him from the Cross and Joseph helped prepare Him for burial and placed Him in his own tomb. Our statue shows Joseph’s mouth open as one can almost hear from his lips yet the cry of an agonizing groan as in heartbreak he held the dead and broken One he had loved so well. 

This statue, carved in Germany, was placed between the two doors leading out into the Garden of the Resurrection as a reminder that He, like us, entered the tomb and that entering the tomb He showed us that it is but the gateway to life eternal. Like a good shepherd who leads his sheep, our Good Shepherd has gone before us to assure us that the tomb holds no terror and no victory; that as He broke the bonds of death and the tomb so we too shall rise. “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory in Jesus Christ our Lord.” May this statue ever serve as a reminder to all those who leave their loved ones here in the Garden that they are not lost but living victoriously with God in the promise of the Good Shepherd. 

On Dedication Sunday this statue was blessed and dedicated by Father Louis Dunleavy, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Daytona Beach, Florida. 

GARDEN OF THE RESURRECTION STATUE OF THE CHRISTUS VICTOR 

The Garden surrounded by a wall with the statue of the victorious Christ in the center is the very emblem of the strength, which the Church proclaims and the victory, which the Redeemer bestows. This peaceful and lovely landscaped garden is indeed a reminder of that beautiful garden of long ago nestled at the foot of Calvary. Our garden most appropriately named the Garden of the Resurrection, speaks of the power and promise of that other garden, “Death has no more dominion.” The six foot statue of the Christus Victor is of Italian marble and was sculpted in Italy. 

The complete garden has 360 crypts for full casket entombment and in the northwest corner, the Chapel of Life will house 380 niches for the placement of urns for cremated remains. 

As each day the morning sun floods this garden with light we are reminded of that Easter that lives forever, “I am the Resurrection and the Life… whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” The assurance of His love, the message of His Church. 

On Dedication Sunday, the Garden of Resurrection and the Christus Victor statue were blessed and consecrated by Louis Dunleavy, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Daytona Beach, Florida. 

WEST WINDOW OF THE ASCENSION AND PENTECOST 

This west faceted glass window is placed in the location that is traditionally given to the Rose window of the Church. The great window or windows on the east and the Rose window on the west of the Church were always the most symbolic as well as being the primary windows of the building. For many centuries it was the established practice to construct all churches facing east toward Jerusalem, thus as the worshippers pray and praise God they face, in reality as well as in their minds eye, those sacred places of our Lord’s life, death, Resurrection and Ascension. Thus, in this symbolic orientation (facing east) we are mindful of God’s light shining into our lives. The west window was placed opposite this also as a symbolic reminder to the congregation. To the west, traditionally, were always the mission fields. So the congregation was reminded that as the light comes from the east (Jerusalem) it is the believers who proclaimed with their lips and lives the glory of that redeeming light. 

This west window conveys the feeling of unusual power and movement. This impression is transmitted through its unique shape as well as the swirling lines of the matrix. This unusual power and movement is indeed the theme of the two events this window represents Ascension and Pentecost. 

Forty days after Easter the Resurrected Jesus led His disciples up onto the hill called Olivet overlooking the city of Jerusalem. He commissioned them, and us, to go into all the world to proclaim the power of His Gospel. Then raising His hands in blessing He ascended upward toward His Crown (symbolized by the crown at the top of the window) and to His place at the right Hand of God. 

He had instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until Hs sent the Comforter to them. Ten days later (50 days after Easter) the disciples were again in the upper room and as He promised, the Holy Sprit, symbolized by the dove, descended upon them. It was the day of Pentecost (Pente meaning 50) and the Church was born. The rushing wind moved downward and from that place into all the world. Inscribed in the bottom of the window are the words of the promise of Jesus to them and to us; “Peace I leave with You.” This is His most precious gift – for there is no other peace comparable to that gift of perfect peace His abiding presence gives. With that heavenly Shalom we go forth as they did to proclaim the joy of being His children. 

This window of the Ascension and Pentecost was blessed and consecrated on Dedication Sunday by the Rev. Marcus Otterbein, Pastor of St Mark-by-the-Sea Lutheran Church, Palm Coast, Florida. 

THE TRINITY SCREEN 

Basic to orthodox Christian faith and teaching is the belief in a Triune God. According to Christian belief the three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) always operate together in perfect community of thought, purpose and action. Though the Persons of the Trinity are in all respects separated and distinct Persons, They share a indivisible Unity in Substance and a Majesty co- equal even as They are co-eternal. 

Symbolic representations for the Trinity abound. The most frequently used symbol, however, is the equilateral triangle. Although this geometric design is used in a myriad of variations, the basic symbolism is always the same suggesting three equal parts joined into one. 

The three screens at the south rear of the church are expressions of this doctrine of the Church as well as bringing to completion the earthly life cycle of our Lord. The screens being three in number and each with equilateral triangle are emblematic of the Blessed Trinity. Worded into each triangle is a Cross, reminder of that second Person of the Trinity Whose Life story we have been tracing. 

These screens are removable, thereby opening up additional space for extra seating in the Narthex area. The slatted wood screens were blessed and consecrated on Dedication Sunday by Father Michael Flynn, Pastor of St. Brendan’s roman Catholic Church, Ormond Beach, Florida. 

CONN ORGAN 

On the West Side of the church adjacent to the choir area is the console for the classic deluxe, three manual Conn organ. 

The manuals each have 61 notes with a 32 note pedal board. There are 65 tab controls including 48 speaking voices and essential couplers – swell to great, swell to pedal and great to pedal. It has a 61 note chime plus a harp. A truly beautiful instrument that surrounds the worshipper with sound. 

CARILLON 

The electronic carillon is the Mage Bell II by Schulmerich. The console of the carillon is located in the ushers’ closet just off the narthex with four wide angle reflex trumpet speakers mounted on the roof of the main church buildings. This instrument plays prerecorded bell sounds synchronized by a precise clock timer. The bell tones are natural and realistic as well as rich and resonant. The hymns played each day are coordinated with the season of the church year. Hymns are played each weekday at 6:00 P.M. and on Sundays prior to each worship service. The bells are occasionally used at other times for special concerts throughout the year. 

SUMMARY 

Thus ends the explanation of the symbolism and meaning of Grace Church as well as a little bit about the church itself. As each person studies the church each one can add even more in depth and fullness to what has been written here. 

Grace Church is indeed a church for all people who are seeking the Lord Jesus Christ and the peace of following His Way. Our membership at this time consists of many from different denominations. We have as members Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Church of God, Episcopalians, Methodists, eastern Orthodox, Presbyterians etc., etc. 

Grace Church in many ways is most certainly an ecumenical church. So it was that on February 20, 1977 as our buildings and grounds were dedicated that officiating at the Dedication was Bishop Thomas Grady of the Roman Catholic Church and Bishop Royall A. Yount of the Lutheran Church. The tow bishops were assisted by representatives of the Episcopal Bishop and the Eastern Orthodox Bishop who were unable to be in attendance but were, nevertheless, so represented. 

The Introit for Dedication Sunday said: 

This is none other than the House of God And this is the gate of Heaven. 

V – WORKING SACRISTY 

This sacristy located to the right (south) of the chancel, is a most important working room of the church. It is here that the paraments for the altar, pulpit and lectern are stored, along with the various altar linens and brassware. Here also, preparations for the Eucharist are made and the clean up is done after Communion. The Altar Guild is in charge of all the above duties. It is the task of these people to keep the Chancel and chancel items in good and spotless order. An item of interest here is the piscina (from the Latin, meaning a cistern or tank). This item, a stainless steel sink with cover is used for the disposal of water or wine that has been used in a sacrament or used to cleanse the sacramental vessels. The drain from this little sink goes directly into the ground, thereby returning these elements back to the earth in a reverent fashion. 

VI-COLORS OF THE CHURCH YEAR 

ADVENT – (late November and early December) – Purple – the costly color of kings, symbolizes that we are awaiting the coming of our King. Blue may also be used (the color of hope). 

CHRISTMAS & EPIPHANY (or coming of the Wise men – December and January) – White-color of joy and rejoicing. 

LENT (Usually begins in February or March and lasts for 40 days) – Violet – color reminds us of the suffering and passion of our Lord. 

GOOD FRIDAY – (Friday before Easter) – Black – to remind us of our Lord’s great suffering and death and also that without Him we are dead unto sin. 

EASTER (40 days after the beginning of Lent – usually in April) – White – joy at His resurrection. Gold also may be used to emphasize the richness of this day. 

ASCENSION – (40 days after Easter – usually in May) – White Joy as Christ ascends into heaven to become our advocate. 

PENTECOST – (50 days after Easter-Late May or early June) red-fire of the Holy Spirit. 

PENTECOST SEASON – (The last and longest season – June through to the end of November) – Green – The lessons in the worship service emphasize the teaching of Jesus under which we gain our growth in faith. 

SAINTS’ DAYS AND ALL SAINTS’ DAY – (at random times through the year… All Saints’ Day is November 1) — Red – to remind us of the blood shed by martyrs and the fact that their hearts were on fire with the Holy Spirit. 

REFORMATION DAY – (October 31) – celebrated on the Sunday nearest this date in October – Red – This day recalls that at this time in 1517, Martin Luther, led by the Holy Spirit, nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenbery, Germany. 

 

 

VII. PASTOR'S SACRISTY

This sacristy is located to the right of the Chancel, is used by the Pastor for private devotions (during the week and on Sundays prior to the worship service), for counseling and for vesting for services. On Sunday mornings, prior to the beginning of worship, the acolytes here say their devotions. Then they light their taper from the devotional light on the worship center and with this they light the candles in the Chancel area. 

Here we might also add a word on the vestments used in the Lutheran Church. 

1. The Cassock – This vestment is the basic one and is usually black in color. It reminds us of the severity of our office as priests for Christ, and that this priesthood covers all our life. 

2. The surplice – This white vestment represents the resurrection of Jesus, as He so covers us with this promise, giving to us by 

virtue of that covering, righteousness, innocence and purity. 

3. The Stole -This is a long, narrow band worn over the shoulders signifying the ordination of the priest wearing it and marks the sacredness of the Sacraments. It symbolizes the yoke of obedience to the Master (Matt. 11:29-30). It is always the color of the prevailing season (Advent-purple, Christmas & Epiphany – White, Pre-Lent-green, Lent-violet, Good Friday-black, Easter and Ascension-white, Pentecost and Saints’ day and Reformation-red.) 

4. The Alb- This is a long white garment, hanging down to the pastor’s ankles, which is said to be symbolic of the innocence 

and prophetic office of Christ because it reminds one of the robe which Herod put on Jesus (Luke 23:11). 

5. The Cincture – A girdle of linen, wool or silk, is symbolic of the scourge ordered by Pilate (John 19:1). This vestment is 

worn around the waist to hold the Alb close to the body and to keep the stole in place. It is symbolic to continence, self- restraint, chastity, and patient suffering. 

6. The Chasuble – This is a large vestment hanging down in the front and back of the priest and signifies Christian charity. It is reminiscent of the purple garment worn by Jesus before Pontius Pilate. 

 

VIII. A LOOK TOWARE THE FUTURE

One does not have to be architect or an artist to see that, although much has been accomplished, there is still much yet to do. This is true not only from a construction and landscaping point of view, but also by way of building a congregation and building for service. 

There are yet, many things to be added to our complex and many little details to be looked after and in time, all these will come. Our direct concern now, with always an eye to the future, is the building of our family, the strengthening for service, the preparing for the days ahead. 

We truly believe that we, (as a family), have been commissioned by Him, not only to preach the Gospel, but also to reach out hands of love and concern. We welcome the challenge of today and look forward with anticipation to the challenge of tomorrow. 

A word of apology – This excellent and informative booklet was written prior to our being sensitized to “sexist language.” To correct such language would have required a complete retyping of this material. Please note that in most cases references to “men” is to include all people of both genders. 

M. Thomas Sublett