Friday, August 10, 2012

The Lighter Side Goes to Church

Hey all,

I know I was hoping to do something different for you all, but due to time constraints, this will be my last blog for a week.  As you may know, Jonathon and I are heading out on a six day road trip through Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on our way to the next city on our tour--Zurich.  

I was going to put up where we were as we traveled, but I can't guarantee I'll have internet to do so.  But I'll try and make it up to you when I am in Zurich.  I'll put up some pics then.  Deal?  :-)

I'm looking forward to the trip.  Just the two of worries about work...the wide open road with no real destination in sight, other than the place we know we have to wind up.  We have an overview of what we'd like to see, but are always willing to be distracted by an unexpected surprise.  Pure pleasure for us. 

I've had requests for pics of some of the things I've seen, so I decided to do today's lighter side about one of them.  Over here in Europe, you can't walk into a church without seeing one that is special.  And they are all so different and unique.  

I give you, pulpits.

For some reason, (and don't get me wrong, I love the fact they've done it), church builders felt the more ornate and awe inspiring the pulpit, the better the people would receive the sermon.  I don't know about that, but the following pulpits I've seen here in Belgium are art in it's truest form.  Enjoy the beauty of something that in the USA is usually so ordinary...  (click on the pic to make bigger)

Simple, yet beautifully carved, this pulpit sits in the church of Saint Paul's of Antwerp where the beautiful Calvary garden is also a sight to see.

The Cathedral of Our Lady, here in Antwerp.  My favorite part are all the birds on the staircase.

 A closeup of the pulpit statue at Saint George's Church in Antwerp.  I wanted you to see the detail in the horse and dragon.

 One of the oddest pulpits I've seen here in Belgium.  This sits in the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium.  At first glance it looked like a basketball, but it is actually the world.

 The carving on this pulpit which sits in another Church of our Lady, this one in Brugge, is quite detailed.  The cherubs are all completely different and there were a LOT of them.

The marble statue which sits in Brugge's oldest church, Saint Saviors, is so well carved on this pulpit, you can almost see him breathe!

A beautifully ornate pulpit in the small, yet ornate Basilica of Our Lady of Wijk in Mechelen.  One of the first pulpits we discovered.

 And my favorite pulpit of all I found in Saint Andrews church here in Antwerp.  The carving is so detailed, I was fascinated. 

A close up of the Saint Andrews sculpture.  I think you'll agree this is art.  Look at the corded muscles in the arms.  Amazing.

I hope you enjoyed this quick look at pulpit art here in Belgium.  I'll leave you with a quote from Billy Graham.  Something to make you think...

If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew.


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

Those are really awesome. Could you imagine how much that would cost now? I wonder how many people actually pay attention or find their mind wanders and pictures the figures coming alive?

Ray said...

I have been thinking since you posted the first church picture how much money was spent that could have been used for helping the people, but Phylis asked how much it would cost now. Maybe it wasn't that bad when they were built.

The height of the pulpits makes me think it would inspire the speaker. When I was on one particular ship I used to sit on top of the seven foot safe or on the orthopedic traction devise that hung from the ceiling to read or just daydream. The bridge of a ship about 150 feet above the water level gives a different perspective than standing on the ground/floor/deck. If I were to speak from one of those pulpits I would write the sermon from the pulpit for inspiration.

CJ England said...

LOL, Phylis. I know I have trouble keeping my attention on my prayers. Everything is so amazing!

CJ England said...

I've noticed, Ray, that Catholic churches tend to have their pulpits higher, even today. Most Protestant churches have the pulpits lower, almost at eye level.

I wonder if it's part of the religion.

Ray said...

Probably the way Protestants and Catholics view the clergy.