Some months ago, CMR presented a series of articles on the new Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood, Kansas. The building is almost completed, with a dedication date scheduled for June 13. As it comes close to being finished, some of the interior enrichments are being fabricated, including a mural for the interior of the baptistery dome. The exterior watercolor rendering shows an attached octagonal baptistery where the nave and the transept meet. While it doesn’t look very large in the picture, the interior of the room is nearly 18 feet across, and partakes of the ancient tradition of making baptisteries separate buildings. At the new St. Michael’s, this “separate” building will be attached to the interior of the church, incorporating the tradition while addressing today’s needs for visibility. The interior of the dome will be painted in a theologically rich mural (click for a larger image) shown here as it will be seen when a viewer stands in the room and looks up. Executed by Evergreene Studios in New York, the mural shows the bursting forth of the Holy Spirit above the font as at Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. The golden radiance of God the Father surrounds the dove, who also appears in front of a Cross, giving the central medallion a Trinitarian component while leaving the Holy Spirit dominant. Small waves run down the red lines where the ceiling panels meet, signifying the “river of the water of life” which is what the Book of Revelation calls divine life or grace that floods the world. The stylized stars reveal the sky above the heavenly Jerusalem, a theme which ties in with a similar mural which will appear on the rear wall of the sanctuary (more on that in a later post). In each section of the dome the stars are arranged in small arches, giving their arrangement a geometric organization that suggests the perfection of nature at the end of time. The Second Spring in church architecture has arrived!