It was interesting to see the difference in materials used when touring the varying sacred spaces. Trinity used beautiful woodwork to accent the architecture, the Basilica was filled with bright white marble, and Saint John’s employed cut stone throughout.
Seat of the Bishop
What denotes a Cathedral is a church that contains the diocesan bishop's seat, or cathedra. Here, Chuck Benson shows the HPA group the official seat of the bishop.
Beautiful Stained Glass
Stained glass windows are a hallmark of traditional Gothic architecture. The soaring height of vaulted arches and the sunlight streaming in through colored glass are all meant to evoke a sense of heaven and majesty, and these features were a major shift from the dark thick walls of Romanesque cathedrals.
The rood screen separates off the choir area from the rest of the congregation. It was fun to see this feature in person after watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on television, where St. George’s chapel was also divided with a floral adorned screen.
Plans for Expansion
Saint John’s still has plans to expand to complete the original plan by Tracy and Swartwout and will form the traditional Cathedral shape of a cross when finished. The long section of the cross is in place now, and the perpendicular arm of the cross will be formed by the transept where the current rood screen is in place, and the top of the cross will be formed by the permanent chancel.
Gothic Arches over the Nave
The stunning Saint John’s Cathedral reminded Mary and Larry of a mini National Cathedral in many ways, though Saint John’s is about 44 times smaller.
Traditional Cathedrals in Europe are often oriented based on altar location to allow the congregation to face East toward the rising sun. This was easily accomplished in the Middle Ages, when churches were built first. In Denver, however, because city streets and blocks developed first, Saint John’s and many other churches could not be built with the exact orientation facing East.