church of the holy cross


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The Tapestry at Holy Cross Church, Tramore,  measures 27 feet by 12 feet, and consists of 50 semi-abstract episodes from the Scriptures. The artist for the drawings and design is Mr. Robert Burke and the work was carried out by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Waterford. The figures are in natural coloured heavy linen appliqued on scarlet linen background.

“The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a prelude to the work of Christ, Our Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God.” (Const. Or the Sacred Liturgy)

A full insight into the work of Christ and His Church requires that we turn back the pages of our Bible to the beginning. To content ourselves with reading the Gospels and the other books of the New Testament is like reading the last few chapters of a love story ignoring all that went before.

The forty-six books of the Old Testament are the earlier chapters in the story of God’s love. There in simple narrative and imagery intelligible to a primitive people the works and mind of God are revealed — God is the Creator of all things; man is the object of his special love and care, endowed with a share in God’s own divine life. He is child of God and destined for heaven. Very early in our reading the basic tragedy of the human race is revealed. Man failed God, sin entered the world and man fell from grace. From this point on the books of the Old Testament are a record of the unfolding of God’s plan fro the redemption of man — Salvation History.

Promise. On the left side of the tapestry, twenty panels show semi-abstract representations of Old Testament events and objects of special significance.

The promise of a redeemer and the formation of the People of God, a sign lifted up among the gentiles’ through whom the Redeemer was to come — this is the Old testament story. We read of the call of Abraham, ‘the father of the faithful’, of his son Isaac and grandson Jacob to whom God gave the name Israel and whose descendants are called Israelites. Central is the story of Moses, the great prophet and Lawgiver the deliverance of the chosen people from slavery in Egypt, the events at Sinai and the journeying to the Promise Land.

The Covenant. This agreement between God and the Israelites was made at Sinai and sealed by the offering of sacrifice. They were constituted the People of God. Moses was the mediator. “Today you are making this agreement with the Lord : He is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways….. and hearken to his voice. And today the Lord is making this agreement with you : you are to be a people peculiarly his own….. you will be a people sacred to the Lord your God as he promised” Deut. 26.

Looking back on the wonderful works of God in the formation and guidance of the People of God, we see that many events prefigured what was yet to come when the promised Redeemer in the Person of the Son of God himself entered the human scene in the fullness of time.

Fulfillment. Twenty panels on right side of tapestry recall the birth, work and teaching of Jesus.
“Mary said: be it done unto me according to thy word.” Luke I.38.
“I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
“god, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebs. I)

The Central Ten Panels Recall The Paschal Mystery.
“As often as you shall do these things, you shall do them in memory of me.” Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and Man. Through Baptism we become members of God’s Holy People. We keep out Covenant with God by believing in His Son Jesus Christ, hearing his voice and walking in his ways. We are sacred to the Lord and await Heaven.

The Meaning of The Images in the Tapestry