- Polycarp: Polycarp is portrayed as being burned to death at the stake. Polycarp was instructed in the Christian faith by St. John the Apostle.
- St. Stephen: St. Stephen is holding the Bible, the basis of his faith, and the stone with which he was stoned to death. St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr.
- St. Mark: St. Mark is portrayed holding the chalice and wafer as well as the book of his Gospel. Tradition says that Mark’s house in Jerusalem is where the upper room was supposed to have been and where Jesus celebrated the first Lord’s Supper.
- St. James: St. James is portrayed as standing in awe of the Lord’s transfiguration. St. James together with St. Peter and St. John were eye witnesses to the Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain top.
- Ezra: Ezra is pictured with a scroll. Supposedly he was responsible for the 39 books of the Old Testament being kept in tact.
- Ezekiel: Ezekiel, a major prophet, is portrayed as proclaiming the word of God. Ezekiel was born of a gentile father. He became a priest and a prophet in Israel for 22 years.
- Aaron: Aaron was the first of the high priests and is portrayed as bringing incense to the Lord as a symbol of prayer. Aaron was the third son of Jacob.
- Melchizedek: Melchizedek is portrayed as bringing forth his tithe of bread and wine to Abraham. He instituted the idea of giving a 10th of his possessions as a tithe.
- Rose of Sharon: the Rose of Sharon is a symbol for Christ. The Messiah is referred to as the rose of Sharon in Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley.”
- Castle: when Josiah took possession of the Promised Land for God’s covenant people Israel, he appointed six cities of refuge to which a man, who had done wrong and was repentant, could run for safety. The Church is now a place of refuge for the penitent sinner.
- Oak Leaf and Acorn: the oak leaf and/or acorn are symbols of a mighty oak tree emerging from a little acorn. Although the Christian Church had a small beginning, nevertheless it grew in might and strength.
- Pelican: symbol of atonement: the pelican was believed to draw blood from its own breast to feed its young. In times of famine, the female pelican is supposed to tear open her breast and feed her young with her own blood. She died in order that they may live.
- Grape Vine and Leaves: the theme of “I am the vine, you are the branches” is shown throughout the carvings in the altar reredos and the altar screens.
- Lily of the Valley: a symbol of Christ the Messiah. The Messiah is referred to as the rose of Sharon in Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.” The lily of the valley also stands for humility and purity.
- St. Peter Holding a Key: St. Peter was a fisherman, the brother of Andrew. Both were called by Jesus to be “fishers of men”.
- Samuel Holding a Scroll: Samuel was born to Elkanah and Hannah, a family of priests. Samuel became a priest, a prophet, and a judge. He took the vow of a Nazarite, refraining from intoxicating drinks and following stern denial in other matters of life.
- David Holding a Harp: David, the greatest king of Israel. A man of many talents… warrior, musician, poet, prophet, saint, and sinner.
- St. Luke Holding His Gospel: The evangelist was born in Antioch, and became a doctor by profession. He is the author of not only the gospel, but the Acts of the Apostles, the primary resource for the study of the early missionary efforts of the Church.
LECTERN (with detail)
The top of the lectern turns on a swivel. It was formerly used to read the lessons from a German bible on one side and from an English bible on the other.
The side panel of the oak lectern are carved with a cross capped by a crown with two angels kneeling in worship and praise. This symbolizes the centrality of the Word proclaiming the victorious Christ before whom every knee shall bow of things in heaven and on earth.
The carved front panels of the top of the lectern have a design of the vine and the pomegranate. The pomegranate is a symbol of the resurrection and the power of our Lord, who was able to burst the tomb on Easter Day and come forth alive. It is a type of the resurrection of all believers. In the Old Testament the pomegranate was used on the robes of Aaron.
NARTHEX OLD TESTAMENT SCREEN (West)
- Pelican: symbol of atonement. The pelican was believed to draw blood from its own breast to feed its young. In times of famine, the female pelican is supposed to tear open her breast and feed her young with her own blood.
- Adam and Eve: Adam and Eve, created by God as the first parents of mankind, are shown in the Garden of Eden being tempted by the devil as a serpent.
- Abraham and Isaac: Abraham, the father of faith, is shown with a knife used for sacrifices; and with his son, Issac, gathering wood for the sacrifice.
- Joseph and Pharaoh: Joseph is shown interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, predicting seven good years and seven bad years.
- Moses and Miriam: Moses and his sister, Miriam, are depicted as leading the people in worship of the true God.
- Moses and Pharaoh: Moses is shown telling Pharaoh, “Let my people go”, as Moses prepared to lead the people out of bondage toward the promised land.
NARTHEX NATIVITY SCREEN (Center)
The center panel displays the birth of Christ, the promised Messiah; the wise men bringing gifts to the Christ child, and Joseph, Mary and the Child fleeing to Egypt.
NARTHEX OLD TESTAMENT SCREEN (East)
- Ruth and Naomi: this portrays women of the Old Testament who survived times of famine. Ruth told Naomi “I will lodge where you lodge”, and she became the ancestor of David.
- Samuel and Saul: Samuel, the great prophet, is shown anointing Saul to be the first king of Israel.
- David and Jonathan: King David is shown expressing his love for his good friend, Jonathan.
- Daniel and Darius: Daniel is shown receiving word Darius to lead the people back from bondage.
The shield in the center of the balcony screen contains a door and a castle, both depicting the church as a place of refuge. The crown over the shield symbolizes heaven, the crown of life, for the ultimate refuges for the Christian.
COMMUNION RAIL (with detail)
The gate in the center of the railing remains open, except when communion is distributed, as a symbol that the Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ, who became our high priest. The needlepoint kneelers were made by members of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church for the 150th Anniversary of the parish in the year 2000.
- Rose and Messianic: the Messianic Rose is a favorite Christian symbol for the promised Messiah. The prophet Isaiah stated that the desert shall bloom as the rose at the coming of the kingdom of righteousness.
- Sedilia Frontal: the sedilia frontal is made of oak. There are shields aborning the frontal with the symbols of a door knocker and the symbol of a gateway to castles.
- Castle: when Josiah took possession of the Promised Land for God’s covenant people Israel, he appointed six cities of refuge to which a man, who had done wrong and was repentant for it, could run for safety. The church is now a place of refuge for the penitent sinner.
The pew ends contain carvings of various animals and plants in the world of nature, representing St. Paul’s words: “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God”.
The two carved angels on the ends of the clergy sedilia represent the angels of scripture. Just as the angels announced the Good News of the Savior to the shepherds on Christmas Eve, so today mortal men selected by God as clergy, proclaim the Good News of the Savior to people today.
Towards the top of the middle panel of the reredos are carved shields, painted gold, red, and black. These are the coat of arms of the signers of the Augsburg Confession, the restorers of the faith of the Apostle and Prophets. The Augsburg Confession, signed in 1530, is the declaration of what Lutherans believe.
At the top of reredos are the wood carvings of the New Testament martyrs now in glory. The artist of this panel pointed out a “graying shadow” behind the heads of the two martyrs on the right. He stated they had painted the background to make the figures stand out, but changed their minds and removed the paint.
REREDOS CROSS STATION
- Worshipping Angel with Incense:
- Lantern, Garden of Gethsemane: the Lantern of the Roman Guard is symbolic of the betrayal of Jesus.
- Whipping Post, Pilate: a symbol of the trial and condemnations of Jesus Christ is the pillar and the whipping robs.
- Pitcher and Basin, Pilate: the pitcher and basin symbolize Pontius Pilate’s act, when he ordered an ewer and basin be brought that he might wash his hands clean of the blood of the Saviour.
- Purse and Silver, Judas: the purse with thirty pieces of silver, is another symbol for the betrayal of the Lord.
- Rooster and Crew, Peter: this is a symbol for the trial and condemnation of our Saviour.
- Garment, Cast Lots: this symbol refers to the soldiers who sat beneath the cross casting lots for Jesus’s seamless coat.
- Crown of Thorns: this very common symbol of the mockery of our Savior alludes to the crown of thorns pressed on to Jesus’s head in a mock coronation by the soldiers.
- Nail, Hammer, Pincer: the rough square-headed nails symbolize those driven into our Lord’s hands and feet nailing him upon the cross. The hammer symbolizes the driving of the nails and the pincers removing of them.
- Gall on Pole, Spear and Ladder: the ladder, pole and spear too are symbols of the crucifixion.
- Empty Cross: the empty cross symbolizes “it is finished”. The Lord had completed his mission of laying down his life in payment for the sins of all mankind.
Left and right – the ceiling trusses are decorated in the colorful German Bavarian Style. This was done to keep the Bavarian influence upon the parish.
Top – the blue panels are decorated by stenciling paint on plaster, performed by the Diggo Rambusch studio. The panel design contains the fleur-de-lis, the Rose of Sharon, the IHS and XD symbols for Christ, the fish symbol of the Christian, and the lion for royalty and majesty of the Lord.
Bottom – the ceiling of the nave is decorated in the German Bavarian style. 18″ wood beams hold up the 60′ long slate roof. The ceiling is 50′ high.