Stations of the Light

The Easter Road to Pentecost
From Light into Light

A poet, a visual artist, a pianist, a minister combine their gifts to bring their visions of the Easter Road to Pentecost to life and light. Discover the results of their creative collaboration, view their art and poetry below and in the SSUC sanctuary, listen to the original compositions that accompany each image. 

Meet the members of this inspiring creative team and read their personal reflections on this award-winning creative project.

The Light into Light series won a Bene award presented each year by Ministry and Liturgy Magazine in California. The jury was made up of multidisciplinary professionals in sacred art and architecture. Entries were judged on their liturgical relevance, originality, overall concept, aesthetic appeal, and craftmanship & use of materials. It was also featured in the United Church publication, Mandate.

This multi-media, eight-part series of images, scripture and contemporary psalms, was inspired by scripture and the centuries-old Christian tradition of the Stations of the Light. It also may be used for worship during the Easter season.  Please credit Sydenham Street United Church (Kingston, ON) when using any of these visual, musical or poetic elements.

Barb and Norm

Artist Barb Carr and poet the late Norm Esdon are photographed beside the final image of eight that celebrates Pentecost. 

Each image, designed by Barbara Carr in 2008, is created with many layers of tissue and other papers overlaid on a background colour wash of acrylic paint. Each includes the circle (a symbol of unity, eternity, completeness), one of eight colours (the three primaries, the three secondaries, plus black and white), a natural form of light (e.g., sun, moon, etc.), and often a reference from the Ontario landscape.

Each image is accompanied by a poem written by Norm Esdon (click on the poem name below) and music by Ashley Vanstone.


The Angel

Scriptural Inspiration: John 21:15-19

Artwork: Barb Carr

Stones Rolled Back: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description: “The Angel” shows circles of energy/power radiating from the Angel’s face, in subtle rainbow colours, from white to yellow to orange, etc. The overall colour theme is white. The natural light source represented is the lightening flashing around the Angel’s head. Other details include triangular pupils in the eyes (representing the Trinity, and also conveying an other-worldly appearance); the colours of dawn in the Angel’s skin tone; and the hand gestures, one down to indicate the empty tomb; the other up to indicate “Christ is risen.”

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


The Garden

Scriptual Inspiration: John 20:1-18

Artwork: Barb Carr

Called By Name: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description: “The Garden” incorporates the circle theme in the round stone, the curved stairway, the curving trees, and the energy radiating from the Risen One. The overall colour theme is green, and the natural light source represented is sunrise. Mary is in the act of turning, with one hand indicating the empty tomb and the steps she has climbed, and the other hand reaching out to the Risen One, who extends a hand towards her. There is light in the empty tomb, since Mary has just seen angels there. The steps represent spiritual progress, while the trilliums represent the Trinity, and of course are an Ontario reference.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


The Road to Emmaus

Scriptual Inspiration: Luke 24: 13-32

Artwork: Barb Carr

Road to Emmaus: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“The Road to Emmaus” shows the Risen One talking to two followers as they approach Emmaus. The circle theme is evident in the setting sun, and the curving buildings and trees. The colour theme is orange, and the natural light source represented is sunset. On the right is a vineyard and on the left is a green wheat field, referring back to the wine and bread of the Last Supper and forward to the meal that will be shared in Emmaus. The buildings and pine trees imply an Ontario setting.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


Thomas

Scriptual Inspiration: John 20:19-29

Artwork: Barb Carr

Honest Thomas: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“Thomas” presents the Northern Lights as the natural light source, and black as the colour theme. The circle theme appears in the curve of the landscape (giving a slightly off-balance feel), in the figure’s outstretched arms, and in the rounded rocks. The figure’s position expresses openness, acceptance, praise, awe.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


The Fish

Scriptual Inspiration: John 21:1-14

Artwork: Barb Carr

in the light of memory: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“The Fish” incorporates the circle theme in the rings of light around the central figure, and in the curving landscape, water and clouds.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


The Lamb

Scriptual Inspiration: John 21:15-19

Artwork: Barb Carr

Tender of the Flock: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“The Lamb” shows a lamb held in Peter’s arm. In his other hand, he holds the shepherd’s crook, a symbol of pastoral care, while around his neck is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. The key features three interlocking gold circles, representing the Trinity, and two crosses, one for Jesus and one for Peter. The border of his robe is a stylized fish pattern, a reference to “fishers of men.” The colour theme is yellow, the colour traditionally associated with Peter, while the circle theme is evident in the curving stripes in his robe. The natural light source is the light within all living beings, seen in the lamb’s eye.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


Ascension

Scriptual Inspiration: Acts 1:1-11

Artwork: Barb Carr

Faith in Transition: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“Ascension” shows the two figures in white referred to in the scripture passage, while the circular cloud is a swirling energetic spiral around the natural light source — a “sun dog”, i.e., a piece of a rainbow. This is a reference back to the rainbow in Noah’s story, which represented a promise from God, and also refers to the Risen One’s promise of the Holy Spirit. The colour theme is violet, while the curving rocks of the mountaintop echo the circular theme.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


Pentecost

Scriptual Inspiration: Acts 2:1-13

Artwork: Barb Carr

A Vision of Many Colours: Norm Esdon, poet

Image Description:

“Pentecost” uses red as the colour theme, while the circle is evident in the rings around the dove and in the partial ring of flames. The dove is a well-known symbol for the Holy Spirit, while the flames are the “tongues of fire” mentioned in the scripture passage. In the flames are pieces of text from Acts 2:1-10 in many different languages — representing the disciples’ words being understood by speakers of many different languages. White flames/feathers bridge the space between the dove and the flames, and echo the shape of the feathers in the Angel’s wings in the first image.

Music by Ashley Vanstone:


Updated 2021 05 20