Through the Window of the Ordinary: Experiences of Holy Week
The liturgies of Holy Week are unique in their visual power and liturgical beauty. These powerful and magnificent photographs, taken at St. James Episcopal Church in Chicago by Maine photographer Anne Wetzel, are coupled with poetic meditations and theological commentary for each service by liturgist Janet Campbell, Director of Liturgy and The Arts at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle.
In July of 1998 I attended the Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Anglican Communion as part of a team of photographers. Arriving at such a large conference, joining hundreds of people from around the world was a very, very confusing experience. All the delegates with divergent ideas and agendas, the sprawling campus, the myriad meetings, prayer groups, services and activities created an almost unbearable sense of chaos. Overwhelmed, I sought some symbol of unity.
One of the first things I had noticed was the pectoral cross worn by each of the hundreds of Bishops. To me each cross was a piece of art that I wanted to hold and study. As a photographer, I wanted to capture them on film and a project began to develop in the back of my mind.
The bishops, of course, did not dress in their robes or wear their crosses every day, so to me the project of discovering them became a wonderful treasure hunt. As I crisscrossed the campus covering the conference events, I would stop any bishop I saw wearing the cross, try to explain what I was doing, and ask to take the photograph. They all had a story relating to their particular cross and these stories were as wonderful as the crosses themselves. My project began to develop and take on shape; by the end of the conference this montage seemed to have taken on a life its own. When I finally spread all of the photos out, first on a friend's dining table and finally on the floor of an empty room at the conference, I realized that I had a design: four on white backgrounds for the four corners and six on black or very dark backgrounds for a cross in the center. Anne Wetzel 3/15/99
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