Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Requiem aeternam...

The altar in All Saints' Church, Inveraray, this afternoon, when a requiem mass was celebrated "...for the departed, especially those killed in war". A former Duke of Argyll, Niall Diarmid, who founded the famous bell-tower of the church, wrote: "My intention is that Mass be ...said, especially in Die Omnium Animarum for the soul of my cousin Ivar and of all from my lands and districts who have fallen in the War and for all the faithful Dead."

Today the candles were lit; the St Maura Singers sang the Mass in Three Parts by William Byrd, the Bishop of Argyll and The Isles preached, and Fr Simon filled the church with the smoke of incense. After the service, a Half-Muffled Quarter Peal was rung by the Scottish Association of Change-Ringers.

The swastika on the chalice veil is not symbolic of some strange reconciliation with Nazidom, but represents a long history. In Christianity, the swastika is used as a hooked version of the Christian Cross, the symbol of Christ's victory over death. Some Christian churches built in the Romanesque and Gothic eras are decorated with swastikas, carrying over earlier Roman designs. Swastikas are prominently displayed in a mosaic in the St. Sophia church of Kiev, Ukraine dating from the 12th century. They also appear as a repeating ornamental motif on a tomb in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan.

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