This is the view that awaits those who push on the door that ended the post before this, about Holy Cross Catholic Church, Pfeifer, Kansas.
The church was built during World War I. Stained glass windows were impossible to find, so the original windows were frosted glass. Interior was left unpainted. This state of affairs continued until 1962. The parish priest at that time, ironically named Sinner, was determined to decorate the church.
The paint brings out the wonderful “bones” of the church and the stained glass windows are its glory.
In the days of near-total illiteracy, stained glass windows told the story of the Bible. Even now, the beautiful glass tells the story in ways preaching cannot.
The choir screen is beautifully carved.
The screen’s gates are also beautifully carved. This detail is of harvest. Another tells the story of the Five Loaves and Two Fishes.
I hope I didn’t commit some massive sacrilegious act by moving the candle that stood in front of the tabernacle. I could not photograph the gorgeous details here without moving it. I presume the metal is bronze. Once I took its picture, I immediately replaced the candle.
I am not a Catholic, so this priest’s identity is unknown to me. Altar piece details were exceedingly difficult to photograph. The gingerbread — if that’s the correct word for altar decorations — blocked my efforts to photograph the crucifix. I brought a step stool, but I needed a ladder. The hand-carved figures were acquired from Munich, Germany, in 1922.
The Pieta in the transept caught my attention. I’ve seen better Pieta sculptures, but this one better captures some of the extreme grief she must have felt. Jesus’ body is always sanitized in these depictions, but we probably could not bear to look upon a true depiction of His broken body.
Not all the decorations are strictly ecclesiastical. This transept window shows the church and its parishioners’ livelihood. I doubt Kansans were growing crops of sunflowers when this window was installed, so the sunflower is almost certainly a symbol of the state.
I’ve learned some new vocabulary as I’ve been blogging about this church and I have to show it off here. This window above one of the doors leading into the transepts is topped by a trifoil window.
The church was stifling and we had to leave before the heat overcame us. A pity, too, because I was not finished photographing it. I intend to return.
Holy Cross Church slide show is below.
To order from this slide show, click on the slide show’s gallery link or go here.GHTime Code(s): nc c6f9a 28184 nc nc nc nc