Monday, September 03, 2012

Other churches, other windows: Holy Trinity from another angle

After my weekly meeting with my writing group, one of the other members stopped me and told me she had just been discussing my Stained Glass Project with someone else the previous night. I haven't really updated this project in several years. I did a presentation about it earlier this year, and I've done a few posts referencing the project, but I'm still three or four windows away from completing the project.

A few hours later I found myself in church with a camera in my pocket. It wasn't my "home" church, formerly St. Mary's, now the Alternate Worship Site for the Parish of St. Faustina. No, this was at the former Holy Trinity, now the Primary Worship Site for the Parish of St. Faustina. I've taken pictures there before, but from another angle, and since I had some time to kill, I decided to snap a few photos before mass began.

My first shot was just a standard image taken without a flash, balancing the camera on the back of the pew in front of me for stability.

Immediately I saw that any photos like this would be over-exposed. So I had to take another approach, and snap away in Sports mode. The faster shutter speed would reduce detail, but would reduce the amount of light pouring onto the CCD - and also make it possible to take the photos freehand.

Here's another view of the same window, which was determined by an anonymous commenter on a previous post to be a depiction of St. Vincent de Paul.

I continued to take pictures right up until things were ready to begin.

A window depicting St. Stanislaus Kostka. Compare to this wimdow from St. Mary's.

A window depicting...I have no idea. Whatever it is has dead, dead eyes.


Here's an image of St. Peter seen in context. I've previously displayed a close-up photo of this window. Holy Trinity was originally intended to become a cathedral, can you tell? It's always been an overwhelmingly ornate and magnificent place, a stark contrast to the relative simplicity of the now-closed St. Stanislaus, which was the first Catholic church in Nanticoke. Trinity was the second, formed by parish members who left St. Stanislaus in a dispute. The entire church seems to be a statement about grandeur and opulence. Recent renovations have toned down this effect somewhat, in part by adopting a dimmer paint scheme.

Two views of the window immediately to my right, looking up.

I don't really have an emotional connection with this church. It wasn't a major part of my childhood, not like St. Mary's and St. Stan's, and I don't have many special memories from it. But other people do. Almost everybody has a camera these days. There is nothing to prevent someone for whom these windows have some special meaning from taking a camera - possibly a better camera than my 4 megapixel Nikon Coolpix L4 - and snapping photos of their own. This goes for every church, everywhere, and every other public and private space worth preserving.

What has meaning to you? What has special memories? Do you own a camera? If so, why aren't you capturing it now, before it passes into history?


zxcv0987 said...

Your title "Other Churches. . ." made me wonder if you had explored stained glass in old Prot churches, or even old synagogues--they were built kind of churchy-style and include great stained glass. I'm not disappointed to see more of the classic Nanticoke Catholic churches here, but I wonder if you have inspired other Nanticoke folk to preserve their heiritage in pix.

D.B. Echo said...

I actually did a series on all of the churches of Nanticoke a few years ago, though my pictures only looked at the outsides. Again, I think it would be much more effective if someone with an emotional connection to these churches and their windows were to document them, rather than have me as an outsider come in and start from scratch.

We've lost the opportunity to document several of these churches. St. George's Episcopal Church on Main Street closed not long after I published my series, and its windows are now boarded up and may have been removed entirely. In the issue of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice that featured my stained glass window images, there was also an article about how St. George's was holding a "Goth Mass" to attract a younger generation to the church. Apparently it didn't work, at least not effectively enough to keep the church open.

Many of the Catholic churches in Nanticoke have also closed through consolidation, and one - St. Francis - has been torn down.

D.B. Echo said...

Whoops, meant to include the link to that series:

hedera said...

Great you're working on this again. Excuse the blog-whoring, but as a window connoisseur, you may be interested in the windows I photographed in Amsterdam this July, in the Niewe Kirk. They were the only church windows I saw which didn't represent some kind of religious figures: they represent the burghers of Amsterdam! I thought that was really interesting.

Meldelen said...

The crowned martyr with an anchor and erased eyes is, most probably, Saint Philomena. :)

D.B. Echo said...

Thank you so much! And can you believe I did not notice the anchor until you pointed it out to me?