Mary and Joseph Meet and Marry: The West Capital Frieze at Chartres (6)

Mary and Joseph’s meeting, marriage, return home, and sitting together before the Annunciation* appear in the capital frieze at Chartres. When, like Mary and Joseph, I perceive God’s leading, I try to follow, but sometimes it’s hard to trust. Sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into. Faith is not an easy road, but God moves on this path, so I remind myself that it is well worth the bumpy ride.

Mary and Joseph series by Jill K H Geoffrion
Mary and Joseph being introduced (Joseph’s rod on the left is flowering, showing the sign of God’s choice of him for Mary’s husband)

My Prayer

For faith to say “Yes” to where you lead, I pray.

Mary and Joseph series by Jill K H Geoffrion
Mary and Joseph walking home after their marriage

Scriptural Touchstone: 

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 (NRSV)

Mary and Joseph meet, marry and go home, West Capital Frieze
Mary and Joseph series on the west capital frieze (the first scene is on the right, the last scene on the left)

Invitation to Pray:

What is God asking you to say “Yes” to? What makes it hard? Position yourself as you see Mary below–sitting with your feet well grounded, a straight back, and your hands open to what is ahead. As you do, what prayers are emerging in your body, mind, heart, and imagination? Pray them now.

Mary and Joseph series by Jill K H Geoffrion
Mary and Joseph at home as the angel approaches (from the left) for the Annunciation

Photos:

Small twelfth-century  sculptures (1145) that line the west wall, just above the west doorways at the Chartres Cathedral in France. The series of sculptures involving Mary and Joseph’s meeting, marriage, trip home and home scene just before the Annunciation is found on the middle capitals below (between the left central door and the right north door).

Mary and Joseph series by Jill K H Geoffrion
Mary and Joseph meet, marry and go home, West Capital Frieze

*A series of apocryphal stories of Mary’s parents, birth, early years and marriage were told in the Protevangelium of James (an apocryphal gospel written about 145 CE) and the Homilies of the Greek monk Jacobus Kokkinobaphos (12th century). They are depicted at Chartres in these sculptures and the Life of Mary Window.

Mary and Joseph Marry
Mary and Joseph marry, Life of Mary window (13th century)

 

Other posts in this series on the sculptures of the west capital frieze:
(1) The Pain of Infertility
(2) Needing To Think These Over
(3) When Things Change
(4) Mary’s Birth (First Bath)
(5) Mary Taken to the Temple

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Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving Christ as a contemplative minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.

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