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St. Thomas: Interior

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The Reredos

When you first enter the church it is the Reredos which strikes you. But look around, the Church has many treasures.

The entry, or narthex, was redone was a thank offering for peace after WWII.
The floor is of inlaid marble and at the center is a large mosaic showing the glove and cross with tan marble continents and bits of glass for seas. "Peace on earth to men of goodwill" encloses this.
The oak ceiling is supported by six stone corbels. The inner four represent the four seasons and those at the corners, the four ancient Greek elements, earth, air, fire and water.

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World War 1 Memorial

Across from the nave is the WWI Memorial sculpted by Lee Lawrie. At the top, the Archangel Michael drives his lance into the dragon, which represents evil. Below is an exceptionally strong relief of American soldiers going from America, represented by St. Thomas Church on the left, to France, represented by Rheims Cathedral on the right. The names of those who served in the war are cut into the wall below. The colored shields on the stone are of the branches of the armed services and those on the door are of the Allied Nations.

Memorial Book

On the north wall is a small altar of marble with alpha and omega and a triangle, the symbol of the Holy Trinity. Above is a Prayer for Peace flanked by the Archangels Michael (with the sword) and Gabriel (with the trumpet). On the altar rests a book with illuminations listing the names of parishioners who served in the war.

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The Adoration of the Magi

At the foot of the gallery stairs hangs a painting attributed to Peter Paul Rubens, who died in 1640, called "The Adoration of the Magi." Above, in the bell tower, is a chime of twenty-one bells which are played before all major services, pealed at weddings, and tolled at funerals.


The Altar

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St. Thomas' main altar  is relatively plain. However the wall behind the altar (the reredos) makes it much more prominent. Bertam Goodhue was responsible for the figures and their placement and Lee Lawrie designed them. Just above the altar, St. Thomas kneels before Christ. The other apostles are in panels on each side. Above are nine Old Testament prophets with their foretelling of the coming of the Messiah. Christ, the Virgin Mary, and St. John, the beloved disciple, are high above the empty cross. Twelve apostles, with John the Baptist, Paul, Mark and Luke, appear in groups of four, upper and lower rows. Other figures are early saints, martyrs, bishops, and missionaries. The wall behind the altar, the reredos, is in a way the complete history of Christianity from promise and present day. The High Altar is draped with hangings from the church collection and are changed for feast days and other liturgical seasons of the year. For example, the advent wreath in the pictures.

The Pulpit

Preaching is done from a pulpit of carved oak. It shows nineteen famous preachers from many different times and places. On the canopy above is a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, source of inspiration to preachers. In the stone column to the right of the pulpit is a Latin cross made of stones from the Greek Chapel of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Beneath the pulpit is the Parapet wall make of mosaics of unpolished colored stone.

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The Lectern

The reading stand is carved of oak. At the bottom are four Old Testament figures, Moses with the law, Elijah, Job, and mostly hidden, Isaiah. The four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are at the upper level. Just behind the Lectern to the left is the great chancel organ. Consisting of six divisions, the instrument features a Trompette-en-Chamade   under the rose window. There are four manuals, 138 ranks and some 9050 pipes, ranging in size from 3/8" to 32'.


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