Of interesting things outside

Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

The beautiful little Anglican church in Belvidere, Holy Trinity, is surrounded by tranquil gardens and a wrap around grave yard. Click image to enlarge.

Belvidere is beautiful. If you’re ever in the Knysna area you’ve got to stop over. I’d have liked to have spent more time checking out the other touristy activities in the area but as it were we needed to get back to PE and we wanted to go the the Heads as well.

Holy Trinity, the small Anglican church built in Norman style, is situated in Old Belvidere. It was built by Thomas Henry Duthie and as you walk around the property you’ll notice that a large number of Duthies have been buried on the grounds over the years.

I always photograph grave sites and am very interested in the emblems used on head stones. I thought maybe to post a few of the stones and relate them to the article I wrote last week on crosses. I do this mainly for my own benefit as the investigation into the decals and symbols is fascinating.

St John's cross. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

This is St John’s cross. Saint John of Jerusalem was an order setup to care for the frail and sick. The emblem is used by organizations such as St John Ambulance and the Venerable Order of Saint John. It’s a Pattee cross. Click image to enlarge.

IHS, Christogram, Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

IHS is a common Christogram or monogram that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ. “IHS” is derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus (Ἰησοῦς), iota-eta-sigma. It’s often associated with Catholic influence. I’d be interested to know what the four leafed emblem surrounding the Christogram represent. I automatically thought of the clover but that’s not quite a rounded edge. Any ideas? Click image to enlarge.

Christogram. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Another Christogram. This time inside a circle set in a Latin cross. Click image to enlarge.

Presbyterian cross, Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

I’m assuming that this is probably a Presbyterian cross rather than a Celtic cross. Presbyterianism developed in Scotland and the <a href="http://www.belvidere.co.za/history/index.html&quot; target="_new"Duthie family hailed from there. My dad has a love for Celtic Christianity which certainly influenced Scottish religion and I’ve observed that the Celtic crosses also superimpose a Latin cross over a circle. Wiki sites the circle as having no inherent meaning but rather being an engineering device to ensure that the arms of the heavy stone cross do not collapse. Having listened to much Celtic tradition involving circles I think that’s highly unlikely. Click image to enlarge.

Dollar sign. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

These “almost” dollar signs were everywhere. They’re actually just the IHS Christogram superimposed over itself. Click image to enlarge.

All this got me thinking why none of the graves had the letters R.I.P. emblazoned on them. More on that in a future post? All this gloomy talk. Let’s end in victory! 1 Corinthians 15:55 – 57:

55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wanna check out the church:

Been to any must see churches in your area? I’m wanting to go through to Parys soon, anything there I should check out?

Tradition. Part 3 of 5

The cross

The cross is a global symbol of the Christian faith. Click image to enlarge.

Did you read the last post? I made a statement, “If there was a circle in it I’d have said that the cross was a Presbyterian device, however I think it’d be more technical to call it a Patonce Cross.” It occurred to me after the fact that perhaps not many have a clue what I’m talking about (possibly even fewer care but that’s another matter).

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the cross comes in many shapes and sizes. Not? Well it does, different people have iconized… mmm. Perhaps the way I’m using that word, iconized, needs some interpretation and context?


mmm, in retrospect I should have thought of crossroads! Click image to enlarge.

I arrived in the Eastern Cape for our family holiday via a SAA plane but Liezl and kids drove down the national highway. But let’s say they took a tortuous road up a mountain pass and saw a road sign with a few pebbles falling down a steep hill, then they’d know to watch out for fallen rocks, right? Maybe a little later they saw a sign of two cars passing each other inside a passageway, then they’d have known a tunnel was coming up. Well, the rock fall and the tunnel have been iconized into signs, symbols.

The cross has been iconized over the centuries as well. You might be thinking “that’s awful” and maybe it is but it’s still affected your thinking. You see, round the time of Christ’s crucifixion the cross represented a terrible torturous death, a symbol of humiliation to the Roman mind and the mark of a curse to the Jew (check out this post for more). Now days we give it too our children to wear around their necks as a pretty little token.

Where were we? Oh yes, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the cross comes in many shapes and sizes. Not? Well it does, different people have iconized it in different ways. A crucifix for example emphasizes Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross whereas an empty cross emphasizes Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death but either way they no longer mean what Jesus meant when He said:

And He was saying to {them} all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

Here’s the crosses that I considered during the investigation of the glass of St George’s church in Knysna:

Also known as the Latin cross. It is the most common symbol of Christianity. It represents the death of Jesus and His resurrection.
Chief symbol of the Presbyterian church.
The Patonce cross which has expanded ends terminating in floriated points. The three petals represent the Trinity and the total twelve petals represent the Apostles.
The Pattée cross has splayed arm ends. The name ‘pattée’ comes from the French for ‘paw’.
The Fleur-de-lis cross is a cross adorned with lily petals at the arm-ends, and is very similar to the Fleurie Cross and the Patonce Cross with liliform ends. Not only do the arm-ends represent flowers, but they also have the appearance of a barbed fightingspear. Therefore these crosses are used mainly in heraldry, especially in France.
The Floriated cross is a cross with arms terminating in representations of flower petals. The flower is typically a lily.

So there you have it. An explanation for the statement, “If there was a circle in it I’d have said that the cross was a Presbyterian device, however I think it’d be more technical to call it a Patonce Cross.”

Paul once said,

23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

You see the symbolic meaning that we attach to the cross might have changed but the truth of what it represents, the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for the remissions of sins, remains a mystery to those who choose to stumble around in the dark after their own desires.

And on that note I’m off to the doctor.

What other kinds of crosses have you come across? St George’s cross? St Andrew’s cross? The Jerusalem cross? Do you understand the meaning or history that each is attempting to portray? Is the traditional understanding of these things important in any way?