Concluding Reflections

by The Very Rev. Steve Thomason, Seventh Dean of Saint Mark's Cathedral. (Transcript below)

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Station 7: Concluding Reflections

Location: Baptismal Font

Cathedral: A Space for Spiritual Pilgrimage 

This is Steve Thomason, the twelfth Rector of Saint Mark’s parish, and the seventh Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral. 

After exploring the history, architecture, and organ of this cathedral, we now conclude our self-guided tour with an invitation to consider some of the features of this space that make it a place of spiritual pilgrimage. We return to the baptismal font, near the entrance to the cathedral. As Christians, we understand the rite of baptism to be the entry rite into community, and the flowing waters remind us of the gift of life that rejuvenates the community which has gathered here across nearly a century now.  

The cathedral building you see as you look around you is not the result of any one individual’s vision: it is a collaboration between generations across nine decades. We remember with gratitude those who cared for this land before us and the many—within the community of Saint Mark’s, in the broader Seattle community, and beyond—whose generosity has made the creation and continuing flourishing of this cathedral possible. The lofty dimensions of this space invite us to gaze upward: substantial pillars and a timbered ceiling are reminiscent of the great trees of the Pacific Northwest and a canopied forest splaying out overhead, a magnificent reminder that we are part of creation, not apart from it—creation which God calls good, and this sanctuary’s dappled light and shadowy contrasts beckon us to be still amidst the beauty, bringing our gifts of wonder and awe to this moment.  

The rough concrete pours of the cathedral’s interior walls remind us that this cathedral is not finished, and that perfection is not our aim. This is a theological statement of considerable importance because our aim in life is not perfection either, neither are we ever finished in the sense that we arrive at perfection in this mortal life. This cathedral bears the marks of generations who have gone before us, just as we bear the marks of our ancestors. And future generations will have their say in the shaping of this cathedral, the holy box on the hill, a beacon of hope where countless souls find solace and strength.

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Thank you for taking the self-guided cathedral tour! 

Return to the main tour page.

< Back to Station 6