• Virtual Tour

• Coloring Book


• Prayers to Know

• What is Mass

• Stations of the Cross

• Our Mother Mary

• The Evangelists

• DiBicci Speaks

• Saints of St. James

• James the Greater


• Whose Feet?

• Finding Angels


• Youth Ministry

• Young Adults


• CFF at St. James

• Rainbow Schools


The Cathedral's Ceremonial Bronze Doors were installed in 1999 and opened for the first time on Christmas Eve, 1999.  They were cast in bronze in Germany and weigh more than one ton!  They are opened on only the most solemn occasions of the year--Easter, Christmas, and at special Masses like the Ordination of Priests and the Feast of St. James.

The Journey

Doors are important.  In our cathedral, the ceremonial bronze doors tell a story.  Through his sculpture, the artist, Ulrich Henn, tells the story of the journey to heaven.  The left hand door tells Old Testament stories; the right hand door tells the story of Jesus' ministry from the New Testament.  In the tympanum (the sculpture above the doors) the artist gives us an image of the heavenly city.

Look at the picture and see how many of the stories you can recognize.  Here are the answers, and where you can find the stories in the Bible.  In the tympanum:  Vision of the heavenly city from the book of Revelation.

Left-hand door, from bottom:  Adam and Eve sent out of the Garden of Eden.  Noah's sacrifice after the Flood, and God's rainbow.  Moses leading the chosen people through the Red Sea.

Right-hand door, from bottom:  Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River by St. John.  Jesus heals a blind man.  Jesus heals a paralyzed man.  Jesus teaches.  Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph (Palm Sunday).  Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss.  Jesus is mocked (Good Friday).  Jesus falls under his cross.

Adam and Eve

We see Adam and Eve sent out of the Garden of Eden.  The serpent who tricked them is wound around the tree.  What kinds of emotions do you think Adam and Eve are feeling?  Do you think the angel looks angry? sad? happy?

Here's what the artist said about this image.  Ulrich Henn said to pay special attention to the angel's hands.  With his right hand he points the way out of the garden, sending Adam and Eve on their long and difficult journey.  With his left hand, though, he is blessing them.  The journey will not be easy, but we already know that it will have a good ending.

Jesus teaches

On the right hand door, the artist tells the story of Jesus' ministry.  Jesus heals and teaches.  Here he is teaching a group of people who are young and old, male and female.  Look at the expression on Jesus' face.  Look at the people who are listening to him.  What do you think Jesus is saying to them?  What emotions does each person express by their facial expression and body language?

Jesus heals

Here's a story of healing from the gospels.  Jesus healed a blind man.  But first, he did something even more important:  he forgave the man's sins.  One of the people standing by was amazed.  He asked, "who but God alone can forgive sins?" 

Ulrich Henn, the sculptor, thought that was a very important question.  Every time we come in to the church, he said, we should ask ourselves again:  "who is Jesus?  what is he all about?"  That is why the man who is asking this question is facing us.  He wants to hear us answer that question again.  Who can forgive sins?  Jesus can.

Continue on to Holy Places in the Cathedral



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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303