Cross Purposes by John Parker

Cross Purposes

John Parker on Empty Chapels & Symbols of Faith

The first time I visited the sacristy of the Wren Chapel at the College of William and Mary, where the chapel’s brass cross now resides out of sight of the visitor, I waited there, dressed in black, sweaty palmed, being reminded to breathe, sequestered till the arrival of my bride at the west end of the chapel. On cue, I departed the colonial room and followed the priest, along with my three groomsmen, to the small but unmistakably English altar, which still faces ad orientem, one reminder of the age of the chapel.

For the second visit, a few years later, I was also dressed in black, though this time under my festal white vestments. I was . . .