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 the celebrant of someone else’s wedding—my brother’s. On this occasion, I was the breathing coach. I remember moving the chalice and paten from the sacristy to the altar before the service. I remember celebrating the wedding and giving thanks where Anglican and Episcopal priests have served since the late 1700s.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


John Parker is priest-in-charge of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, a mission parish of the Orthodox Church in America, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. He earned his MDiv (2001) at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and his MTh (2004) at St. Vladimir?s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York. He can be reached at frjohn@ocacharleston.org.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

25.4—July/August 2012

All the Lonely People

The Corrosive & Far-Reaching Fallout of the Sexual Revolution by Anthony Esolen

19.10—December 2006

God Rest Ye Merry

by Wilfred M. McClay

27.5—Sept/Oct 2014

The Hundred Years' War

The Culture of Death's Campaign Against the Catholic Church by Brantly Millegan

00