• 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 Chapel

The Cathedral Chapel holds about 100 people.  It's used every week for different kinds of liturgies.  Sometimes weekday Masses are celebrated in the Chapel.  Sometimes weddings or funerals take place here.  The Chapel is the home for the Ukrainian Catholic community, who have their own special liturgies here on Sunday afternoons.  And almost every Sunday, the Chapel is used for the Children's Liturgies of the Word at the Noon Mass.  It's a special place to pray!


Our Lady of Seattle

The image of Mary in the Chapel is a very special one.  For many years, this statue stood in Our Lady of Good Help Church, the very first Catholic Church in Seattle.  It was brought in a ship around Cape Horn in 1870, long before the Panama Canal was completed!  When Our Lady of Good Help Church was torn down, the statue of Mary came to St. James Cathedral.

The statue tells us a lot about who Mary is.  She wears a glorious golden dress and blue mantle, which reminds us that she is a queen--the queen of heaven!  But her gentle face, and her hands reaching out to us, remind us that she is still the humble "handmaiden of the Lord," who intercedes for everyone who calls on her.

One of the most ancient prayers to Mary says:

We turn to you for protection, holy Mother of God.
Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs.
Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.

Chapel Windows

The Chapel windows show images of the Eucharist.  Here is the basket of loaves and fishes.  Why is this a good symbol of the Eucharist?  The basket is surrounded by vines and grapes.  Next time you're in the chapel, see how many different images of grapes you can find.

Renaissance Painting

The Cathedral Chapel is also home to a painting by Neri di Bicci, an artist from Florence, Italy, during the time of the Renaissance.  "Renaissance" means "rebirth," and it refers to the time in the 1400s and 1500s when artists began to take new delight in the arts, and reached new heights of beauty in their work.

In our painting, Mary holds Jesus on her lap.  On either side of them are images of saints.  They are saints from every time and place.  There is Saint Luke, writing his gospel in a book; there's Saint Lawrence, holding a grill (that's because he was a martyr who was roasted to death); there's Saint John the Baptist, and other saints as well.

This kind of painting is sometimes called a "holy conversation," because these saints came from many different times in history.  They didn't meet each other on earth--only in heaven!  What do you think they might be saying to each other now?


The Christmas Manger Scene

Each Christmas, the Cathedral Chapel becomes the home for the Christmas manger scene.  At the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve, hundreds of children join Father Ryan in blessing the figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the animals for the manger scene.  Then the figures are placed in the Chapel where people can pray throughout the Christmas season.

The star-shaped lanterns are called parols.  They come from the Philippines.  These stars remind us of the star that led the three wise men to Bethlehem, and the stable where Jesus was lying in a lowly manger.  They also remind us to let our faith in Jesus shine like a light in a dark place!

Continue on to Organs and Bells



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303