Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sabbath Jauntings

A perfect fall day
On this past Sunday we headed out in the afternoon
 to Downtown Washington D. C.
 to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

a place of pilgrimage and prayer

The foundation stone was laid Sept. 23, 1920,
 and the crypt church and level was completed in 1931.
 The Depression and war caused a halt in construction
and it was finally dedicated in November 1959.
  It has 70 chapels and one

 final dome waits to be completed.

Though our own Lutheran heritage

 was a bit distracted
 by the influence of Mary,
this site is an amazing
structure filled with the finest

 marble and limestone
 and one of the largest groupings

 of religious mosaics in the world.
We were trying to make the 1:30 tour group
 and found our way via guides to the starting point.
 Coming around the corner there was a stir and a commotion 
and as I stepped aside I almost ran into Newt Gingrich. 
I mumbled Hello, he nodded and went on his way
 as he escorted his wife, Callista, to the door.
(She sings with the choir at the Basilica)

That is how things sometime go in this area.
And so we toured.....

A cross from one of the chapels.

Doorways in the lower crypt chapel
The Basilica contains the world's largest collection
 of contemporary ecclesiastical art.
The Ascension window-
 these are all mosaic window niches

The Annointing of the Spirit Window-
Challenging to get a photo
 with the light coming in

Our Guilt on Him
By His Chastisement we are Healed
For He has Risen as He Said
The Basilica is styled in Romanesque
 and Byzantine architecture. 
It is a total of 75, 500 square feet.
The lower crypt church is modeled
 after the early Christian Catacombs.
 There was worship there in the time of our visit-
- so no photos allowed.

Christ in Majesty-
 the brilliant mosaic in the North Apse of the Great Upper Church.

It is the largest mosaic image of Jesus Christ in the world
 and contains more than 4000 shades and colors.
To get an idea of scale---
his head is 17 feet from side to side.
We will have to come back to hear the organs-
 the upper level has 9,393 pipes and the lower has 1.355.
Time to look up concert schedules.

The Holy Family at Rest-
The Flight to Egypt

And in this space where man has tried to give a glimpse of
our Lord's majesty and power-
the feeble efforts do sing-

want to see a lot more?
visit the virtual tour at www.nationalshrine.com

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