30 Minutes in the Life came around so quickly this month that I think we have all been taken by surprise.
For my share this month we are heading to Boston. I loved visiting Boston and if you have not been there, certainly add it to your stopping point. It is a great city and we walked, seriously walked, the city. From it strong Irish community , to it’s lively Italian influence Boston has so much to offer. The people were friendly and offered assistance to two travelers with maps. They struck up conversations, especially when we spoke with foreign accents. This is what makes traveling so much fun.
I am sure I have mentioned this before, but I will repeat it. I am a planner when it comes to traveling. Prior to heading out, I have researched and have a list of places I want to see. Some people may find this exhausting, but I hate going to a place with no clue what I want to do.
While researching things to do and see in Boston, I came across Trinity Church, The Episcopal Diocese. I love visiting churches, particularly Catholic Churches because of the beauty of the buildings. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church falls under the Protestant line and the influences of the Church of England, which broke away from the Roman Catholic Church.
I will confess that this is only the second time I have seen a Protestant Church so ornately designed with such incredible depiction of the teachings of the bible. Trinity Church dates back to 1733 in its original origins. This was 150 years prior to the building of the current church which is now recognized as a National Monument. Besides for sharing the actual building a will share a brief synopsis of the depictions I photographed.
Juxtaposed, against a modern city, this beautiful architecture is breath taking and so incredible. Of course there is little room to move when shooting all the angles, and of course, you cannot get away from construction, people and cars.
I loved how the modern buildings reflected the beautiful church.
The church sits on the famous Copely Square. In 1872, after the second home to the church burned down, the then rector, Phillip Brooks along with a few others, cast a vision for the new home for the church.
Henry Richardson was the designer of the church. A clay roof, polychromy, rough stone, heavy arches, and a massive tower are features of the church found today. The stone used is a called Dedham Granite. It’s features are a light grayish-pink to greenish-gray. The stone is an equigranular material, which is composed chiefly of crystals of similar orders of magnitude to one another.
I walked around the church a couple of times, looking at all the different angles. The work was impressive. The style of architecture and the stone used give longevity to the building. The green mold highlighting the dampness and cold of the city. We were there at a time when the air was cold, but the winter weather had not begun in full.
Walking onto the square and looking up at the building, I was moved with the story telling in each of the scenes depicted along the frontage of the building. Representing the 4 Gospels of the Bible were Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Each gospel takes on a different viewpoint of the the history of Jesus Christ. Each of the disciples, Matthew and John, were called knowing that the road would not be easy, that they would be persecuted and that there was every possibility that they would die a martyr. Mark and Luke were both influenced by the teachings of Jesus Christ, and committed to serving His people.
Mathew, we are told in the bible was a Tax Collector. From that we gather that he was a man of education. The book of Mathew is written primarily to the Jewish Nation. Matthew emphasizes that Jesus Christ came to fulfill Old Testament prophesies. It is believed that Matthew was burned at the stake
Mark was believed to be the son of a prominent follower of Jesus. He is believed to be in his teens when Jesus came to Jerusalem. After the resurrection, Mark traveled with the Apostle Paul. He also traveled with Peter to Rome. While Peter was in prison in Rome, Mark stayed with him. Mark’s book include what he witnessed and Peter’s memories. Mark died a brutal death. They placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.
Luke was a Gentile physician, who traveled with Paul. He did not know Jesus, and it is believed that he came to know about Christ through traveling with Paul. His gospel is based on the words of eye witnesses to the story of Christ. The gospel of Luke is the only gospel written by a Gentile. Luke was the only person to remain with Paul until he died. History has it that Luke was hanged from an olive tree. However, scholars will argue that he died in Greece at the age of 84. Others believe he was martyred after the death of Paul.
John was known as the Beloved Disciple of Jesus and often refers to himself as the “disciple Jesus most loved”, and is often referenced as the disciple leaning in to Jesus at the last supper. John writes of different things to the other gospels, including the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. John’s gospel is primarily to the church who knew about Jesus. Aside from writing the Gospel of John (his view of Christ), he wrote three epistles (how he dealt with the church) and the book of Revelation (the future through the vision God gave him)
Between the apostles on either side were women of the bible. Between Luke and John were Mary and her sister Martha (sisters of Lazarus), and Mary Magdalene. Between Matthew and Mark, were Mary (Mother of Jesus), Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) and Anna (the woman who prophesied about Jesus and was an old woman when she witnessed Jesus at the temple).
There are depictions of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist, when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus in the form of a dove. This was prior to Jesus spending 30 days and 30 nights in the wilderness where he is tempted by Satan.
There are depictions of Jesus teaching at the temple. While he was teaching the teachers of the law were trying to kill him.
There is a depiction of the last supper, where Jesus gathered his disciples together to have a meal before he headed into Jerusalem towards his final days. It was at this supper that Jesus shared that one of them would betray him. That man was Judas Iscariot. Judas was the keeper of the money bag for the disciples, also listed as a thief and that he used his position for his own personal gain. After Jesus was crucified, Judas realizing his error threw the 30 coins of silver in the temple and went out and hung himself.
The final depiction that I photographed was what was described as the majestic, triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey, with his follows waving palm leaves and laying their clothes on the ground as he passed through. Little did his follows or his disciples know what was to come in the next weeks.
Walking around the back of the church I spotted this bicycle stationed at one of the back entrances. I loved the feeling that you would be welcomed in.
Something that has always fascinated me is why some churches have gargoyles. I saw it at this church. Norte Dame has them. I recently saw it at a local Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach, while doing a photoshoot. Reading last night the gargoyle is a ugly form carved or molded into a shape and used as a water spout on many of these buildings. The purpose was to preserve the masonry of the building. They were apparently also meant to inspire fear into the parishioners reminding them of the evil outside of the parish. The gargoyle I saw recently was not a water spout but a interesting little fella hanging out on the edge of a wall.
Trinity Church is unique for anyone to visit. It is not just about believing in Christianity. The architecture is fantastic, the stories are told in such an incredible way through the talented gifts of an artist. You cannot help but be moved by the beauty of this building.
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Sharleen, these are amazing! The reflections of the old church on the modern buildings is captivating. Being a christian, I find the architectural stories fascinating. Surely something worth going to see. Beautiful post!
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Thanks so much Janet. It was really a unique place to visit. I could have spent much longer just looking at everything, but we only had two days in Boston before we flew out.
I LOVE BOSTON!!! Even though it’s somewhat close, I have only visited once and have been begging my husband to go back for the past 20 years!!! It is such a lovely city and the food is what makes life worth living.
Thanks for always making want to travel more!!!
I loved Boston as well. I would go back again.