On November 22, 2021, we added a lovely dedication to the reverse side of the Myrrh Bearing Women icon, which has now been hung in the Cathedral’s newly constructed gothic arch, forever sealing the details you will see below.
This inscription commemorates the occasion of the icon’s writing, commissioned by Dean Nathan LeRud and the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in honor of Bishop Diana Akiyama. The dedication references this momentous event and on January 30, 2022, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral will celebrate the One year Consecration Anniversary of Bishop Diana Akiyama.
An inscription also helps to identify an icon, and was required in order for an icon to be venerated. For scenes, like the one in the Myrrh Bearing Women icon, the icon is titled as we did in the frame below the scene. On the reverse side, we reveal that this icon depicts the joyous news of the resurrection to the Myrrh Bearing Women, who were the first to receive the word of the resurrection and then informed the apostles, hence the reference to them as the “apostles to the apostles.”
Written to the glory of God on the occasion of the installation of the Rt. Rev. Diana Akiyama, as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, and in honor of the the life giving resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We commemorate the holy and courageous apostles to the apostles, the Myrrh Bearing Women at the Tomb.Dedication
Finally, below the three red crosses we offer thanks to the talent of those who helped to write the icon, and those who contributed to its completion.
We offer thanks for the dedication and talent of those who have helped in writing this icon, and/or donated funds or material to its writing:
Teresa Blackwell, Fr. Jon Buffington, Celia Carlson, Leslie Carveth, Myra Clark, Rachael Kitchens, Ania Kocurek-Williams, Nathan LeRud, Susan McCloskey, Laurie Muench, Cheri Munske, Nachi Pelletier, Dennis Sellon, Christine Thum Schlesser, Joan Truncali, Keither Walters, Christina Wolf, Lisa Wolf, The Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Early Family.Acknowledgement
We are grateful to Dennis Sellon for having designed and executed the cross, the titulus, and the calligraphy for the reverse side of the icon. In Dennis’ words, “the beautiful reverse side is there for the angels to see.”
This Japanese style cross, in honor of Bishop elect Dr. Diana Akiyama’s heritage, was inspired by the gilded decoration on a lacquered ceiling in a Japanese palace. The center motif of the original was the chrysanthemum emblem of the Imperial Japanese family, here replaced with the logo of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The triangle pattern in the arms of the cross, while used as a symbol of the Trinity, is also a traditional Japanese design called “uroko” (鱗) or scales, which can represent the scales of a fish or a powerful serpent or dragon kami. Kami are the nature spirits of the Japanese Shinto religion. In traditional Japanese theater, a character who transforms into a serpent or dragon kami is dressed in clothing with this pattern. Japanese samurai often wore clothing in this pattern as a talisman to protect them against harm. Thank you for this information, Dennis.
The dedication was carefully measured to fit inside the gold painted titulus.
After the icon has been hung into its new niche next to the pulpit, we’ll apply four pearls to the center of each carved Trinity symbol in the corners of the frame and apply the first coat of varnish. After sufficient curing, the second coat of varnish will be applied.
All that remains now is the blessing, scheduled for January 30, 2022. Keep an eye open for photos.