Sunday, November 04, 2007

St. Anne's


St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast is this enormous 19th century building in the middle of town. Inside there are beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows. As we arrived yesterday we noticed the spire. It looks new. It's silver and shiny and stretches high into the air. It's pretty incongrous looking and fairly ugly in a way. I was wondering what it was there for. If the old one fell down or wasn't good enough why bother with a new spire?
In the church I used to go to someone once told me that spires were a signal of spiritual authority. Whichever church had the biggest spire had more authority over the demons and devils of the town. Thankfully (they added) the Catholic church spire was slightly shorter than the Protestant cathedral's. I would guess that the phallic authority idea is indeed what's behind the idea of having a church spire.

Yesterday I sat in my space and watched the people going up for communion, coming back, the choir taking their places, the priests taking theirs, all moving and having someplace to be. Maybe religion isn't about hypocrisy all the time. Maybe it's not about victory or goodness, whatever that is. Maybe it's just about getting through. Clinging to that spire like a mast.

Survival.





4 comments:

rocinante said...

d'y'know - now you mention it, it IS like a mast. i rather think they might have done it on purpose - i seem to remember reading something there about missions to seamen...

from below, though, it does seem rather like a big impressive and rather dangerous spike with no clear support...

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

don't get me started with the phallic within church history!!!!

never been there in all my visits to your fair city, will remedy that next time - you can give me the tour

Awareness said...

arent all spires a little bit incongruous and fairly ugly? However, I can't imagine surviving without clinging onto them from time to time.

well..........!

Rainbow dreams said...

will find me contemplating those spires more closely when I move off this island...keep looking at ireland but is too costly and didfficult to get to for a short break... :(