Exploring St. Paul’s Unique Features
Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
This wooden Madonna and Child statue was given to the Church of St. Paul the Evangelist in the late 1890s and for many years stood outdoors in the church’s memorial garden.
The skylights in the Cathedral were added during the 2015 renovation.They, along with the glass panels on the front of the church, allow natural light in the Cathedral. The Cathedral Church of St. Paul is a LEED-certified building.
The pews were removed as part of the 2015 renovation. New chairs provide for greater flexibility for different kinds of worship services, special events, and leave room for labyrinth walkers The pews have not completely disappeared: Look at the perimeter of the room during your next visit. The polished wood molding is made from old pew rails salvaged during the renovation.
The glass chapel, visible from the street, is a quiet place for prayer and reflection. It honors the Church of St. John the Evangelist, formerly located on Bowdoin St. in Boston, and is dedicated to the memory of the late Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts from 995 to 2014 and a brother of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE). The Church of St. John the Evangelist began as a mission of SSJE in 1883, and served, among others, the poor and unemployed in Boston’s West End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. It became a parish in 1985. Due to diminishing membership, it was sold in 2015 and the congregation merged with the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
The Labyrinth is modeled after one in Ravenna, Italy and is an ancient meditative tool. You can start from anywhere, and follow the path to the center. Use the gentle, repetitive movement to pray, think, or quiet your mind.
The stained glass window behind the altar in the chapel was installed in 2016. The names of St. Paul and St. John adorn its upper corners: outlines of the gothic-style St. John’s Church building and its storied Connick windows have been worked in the background. A chalice modeled after the one used at St. John’s forms the window’s central image, haloed by stylized representations of wheat and grapes. Andrew Young and Pearl River Glass Studio in Jackson, Mississippi designed and crafted the window.
At shoe-level, you will find tiles, randomly placed, that bear the names of all the churches and mission in the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts. If you’d like to find your church or one that is special to you, you may find a tile map in the sanctuary during your next visit!
Stations of The Cross
The brass Roman numerals inlaid around the perimeter of the sanctuary can be used to pray the Station of the Cross. The stations begin in the left front corner of the sanctuary where you’ll find the leaflets to guide you.