Our Place of Worship
The sanctuary is a holy place for the worship of a holy God. The architectural design of the sanctuary is in accordance with the traditional cruciform pattern. Worshipers enter through the darkness of the narthex and into the light of the sanctuary radiating from the stained glass windows adorning the chancel and sanctuary. This is a reminder that when we come to worship in the sanctuary, we cross the threshold of the secular to the sacred, from the common to the uncommon, from the profane to the holy, from darkness to light.
We believe that we should worship as God’s Word informs us. In worship, we preach the Word of God, we sing hymns according to the Word of God, and we pray according to the Word of God. Our worship is simple, spiritual, and reverent. We strive for excellence in every area of our worship service in order to reflect the holiness and majesty of the Lord, and we are continually challenged to improve what we do for His sake.
The Stained Glass Windows
The five stained glass windows at the front of the sanctuary depict the Apostle Paul and the Gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew is symbolized as a man because his Gospel begins with the human ancestry of Christ. Mark is symbolized by a lion because a lion is the roaring creature of the desert, and his Gospel starts with the story of John the Baptist, “the voice crying out in the wilderness.” Luke is symbolized by an ox, a sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the offering of Zechariah. John is symbolized by an eagle, a bird that soars high into the heavens, because his Gospel “soars into the heavens” at its outset. Jerome (c. 347-420), interpreted the symbolism of the “four creatures” in Ezekiel 1:5-10, Ezekiel 10:14, and Revelation 4:6-7 to represent the four Gospel writers.
Each transept of the sanctuary features a rose window. One rose window contains an image of a chair or throne, and the other rose window contains a crown and scepter. The images in each rose window are meant to communicate the rule and reign of Christ. The Alpha-Omega symbols are located on each of the stained glass doors on the left and right sides of the sanctuary. Our Lord identifies Himself in Revelation 1:8 as the Alpha (the first letter of the Greek alphabet), and the Omega (the last letter of the Greek alphabet). He is the One Who created all things, sustains all things, and will usher in a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21).
The pipe organ at Saint Andrew's consists of a variety of new and existing components designed specifically for the sanctuary. This rebuilt, re-voiced, and enlarged Reuter pipe organ was installed by Philip J. Swartz. It is a custom-fitted organ, housed in the two front chambers and rear antiphonal chamber. A total of 4,100 pipes arranged into 57 voices in 5 divisions (Great, Swell, Choir, Pedal, Antiphonal) are controlled via a digital microprocessor in the 3-manual console on the chancel. The model for constructing the organ was based on "American Classic" organs by E.M. Skinner, as well as European organs dating back as far as the 1600's.
Liturgical colors have an instructive purpose and point us to the life of Christ and the great acts of redemptive history. These colored hangings, called paraments, are seen on the pulpit, communion table, and lectern. White represents purity. It is displayed for festivals of the Lord Jesus, primarily used in celebrating Christmas and Easter. Purple represents royalty, repentance, and suffering. It is displayed during Advent and Lent, times of preparation and penitence. Red represents the fire of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost. On Good Friday it signifies the blood of Christ, and it also signifies the blood of the martyrs. It is also displayed for All Saints Day. Green represents spiritual growth and world missions. It is displayed during “ordinary time,” which is the period from Pentecost to the beginning of Advent and the period from Epiphany to the beginning of Lent.
The Torah Scroll
The scroll on display in the narthex contains the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. This particular scroll, estimated to be 300 to 400 years old, is a hand-written manuscript on many panels of leather which have been sewn together and wrapped around wooden rollers. It was produced at a 2,400 year-old scriptorium in Yemen, which is the oldest continuously operating scriptorium in the world. It is possible that this scriptorium produced some of the scrolls that Jesus and His followers would have read from in the first century.
The Paintings of the Work of Christ
The paintings that adorn the narthex were created in the 1970’s by Richard Serrin. Mr. Serrin has been acclaimed as one of the greatest religious painters of the twentieth century. He is an American who paints in Florence, Italy and uses the style of Italian Renaissance painters, making his own paints and glaze as was done centuries ago.