Worship Symbols

The Chancel

A “theology” of Trinity Church was written by the Building Committee as one of the first assignments before the church building was designed by our architect more than 50 years ago. Someone suggested that if any one symbol were to dominate the church, it should be the Cross. This inspired the towering “rough hewn Cross” in our Chancel.

The stained glass ceiling above the cross is in the shape of triangle representing the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) for which our church is named.

 

And have you ever wondered why we light candles before the Sunday morning worship service? The lighting of the altar candles, is a “call” to the congregation to worship. But more than that, the lighting of the altar candles is a symbol of Jesus (who is the Light of the world) coming into the presence of the worshipping community. 

 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, (John 8:12) he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

And do you know why there are TWO candles on the altar? (If the candles represent Jesus, shouldn’t there be just one?)  The reason there are two is because Jesus was both God and man. One candle represents the Diety of Christ. The other candle represents his humanity.

 

As the candles are extinguished at the end of the service, the acolytes are supposed to relight their torch to keep the flame burning as they exit the sanctuary. This represents the eternal nature of Christ who leads and enlightens wherever we go.

 

And upon close inspection, you will see the delicate “wheat and grapes” carved into the Chancel railings representing the bread and wine served during Communion. Finally, we encourage everyone to examine the colors and symbols on our parament hangings. We are proud of the symbolism within our church which suggests the rich history of the Christian Church to every worshipper.

There are several “Trinity” symbols throughout the church. One example, already mentioned, is the stained glass on the ceiling above the cross. In addition, on the front panel of the old pulpit is a carving referred to as the “Shield of Faith”; it proclaims the Trinity in the traditional formula: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Narthex

The shape of the outside door depicts a rainbow, the sign God put in the heavens for Noah to see after the flood (Genesis 9:13).

The Narthex Screen (glass wall in back of sanctuary) displays etchings that illustrate the Apostles according to Church tradition. 

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The Parlor

This hand-made embroidery of the Last Supper is displayed on the wall in the church parlor. The placard below it reads: Made and Presented by Lloyd and Edna Tucker, 1966

© 2013 by Trinity United Methodist Church, 210 N. Main St. Swanton Ohio 43558. All Rights Reserved.

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