Treasures of the Cathedral: The Thomsen Chapel Processional Cross

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by Gregory Bloch, Director of Communications

The Thomsen Chapel processional cross is one of the most liturgical adornments in the collection of Saint Mark's Cathedral, but unless you attend the  a.m. service, you may never have seen it. It has always been clear just by looking that the cross is a precious object. However, after a recent restoration, repair, and cleaning, it now gleams and sparkles in a way that it has not for many decades.

We know an unusual amount of detail about the creation of the cross, thanks to the whoever had the foresight to preserve a brief article in the August 1967 issue of Canadian Jeweler magazine [pdf]. The article explains that the cross was the creation of Jeffries & Co. Ltd. of Victoria, British Columbia, designed and crafted by Norman Griffin, one of the parters in the firm. It was made specifically for Saint Mark's, and is described as "Jeffries' most important single export to date." The article includes the following description:

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Treasures of the Cathedral: The Cathedral Windows

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by Gregory Bloch, Director of Communications

What are the defining architectural elements of Saint Mark's Cathedral? I think the most common answers would be the glass and steel screen behind the altar, our reredos, or its counterbalancing visual element, the mighty Flentrop organ. But it seems that for some the building can be represented by an element that is, at least superficially, less attention-grabbing—the cathedral's massive windows.

Two examples have appeared recently, both related to the concerts produced by Abbey Arts: the poster for the upcoming concert by the "folk-pop indie rock" band Ivan & Alyosha, and the recently-released album by the Seattle artist SYML, Sacred Spaces: Live at Saint Mark's Cathedral.

In the guise of that album cover, Saint Mark's, in an oblique way, appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show last week!

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Treasures of the Cathedral: Virginia Maksymowicz’s Stations of the Cross

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2022 marks the fifth year that the Stations of the Cross by artist Virginia Maksymowicz have been displayed in the nave of Saint Mark's Cathedral, Seattle. Although they were originally commissioned by St Thomas Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA—a very different kind of church interior than Saint Mark's—their elemental quality and stark appearance resonate visually and spiritually with the nave of Saint Mark's. Many are surprised to learn that they were not created specifically for this space! In fact, they have only been on loan to the cathedral since their first appearance here in 2018.

Now, Saint Mark's Cathedral is happy to announce that these artworks are now a permanent part of the cathedral collection. They have been given as a gift by The Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, and Mrs Marti Rickel, to the glory of God and in loving memory of Bishop Rickel's father, Morris E. Rickel Jr. These Stations of the Cross will serve the cathedral community, the diocese, and wider community as a beautiful and prayerful aspect of our Lenten observances for years to come.


About the Stations of the Cross

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Treasures of the Cathedral: Everett DuPen

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Have you ever noticed the wood carvings located just as you enter Bloedel Hall from the west doors of the building? For the small prayer card included in this year's stewardship mailing, the stewardship committee selected a detail from this work, depicting Jesus telling his disciples to cast their nets on the other side of their boat, as recounted in the Gospel of John, chapter 21. (Click the photo to enlarge.) The entire work, titled Christ the Good Shepherd, is the work of sculptor Everett DuPen (1912–2005).

DuPen taught for many years at the University of Washington, and his work can be be seen in public installations throughout the Seattle area, notably the Fountain of Creation, located at Seattle Center between the Arena and the Northwest Rooms (now the KEXP studios), the carved walnut screens at the entrance of Seattle Municipal Tower, and the fountain at the Pritchard Building at the state capital in Olympia.

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Treasures of the Cathedral: The Pentecost Evangelist Banner

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In the season after Pentecost each year, a stunning quilted banner is displayed on the reredos.

First displayed at Saint Mark’s in 2017, this striking banner depicts the symbols of the four evangelists (the Four Living Creatures from the book of Ezekiel). It was made in the 1980s by Northwest textile artist and sculptor Margaret Hays.

Margaret Hays was born into a  family of women artists in 1931. She received her MFA in 1975 from the University of Washington. Her passion was sculpting with fabric and liturgical art was her primary subject, with an emphasis on mother and child. Throughout her career as an artist, she contributed much to churches across the Diocese of Olympia. She was a member of St. John’s, Snohomish. She died peacefully in 2016 at the age of 85.

The evangelists banner was displayed for many years at St. Hilda-St. Patrick Episcopal Church in Edmonds, WA, but was ultimately given to the Diocesan Altar Guild. The Altar Guild gifted this banner to Saint Mark’s Cathedral in 2017. It was repaired and restored in 2017 by Saint Mark’s members Sandra Piscitello and Jo Ann Bailey, and Diocesan Altar Guild chair Sherry Garman, and has been displayed every year in this season since then.

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