Antigua Guatemala Cathedral Altar

Rudy Giron: &emdash; Antigua Guatemala Cathedral Altar Detail

This church with its three chairs provides a symbolic representation of the crucifixion; with each seat representing each cross. In this take, we can see more gold through out the shrine. What’s the meaning of gold?

© 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • El Canche

    I believe gold has traditionally symbolised power, majesty and honour. Because of its purity, it has also been associated with truth; i.e. the Word of God. The use of gold in church adornment probably has its root in the scriptures that encouraged giving the first-fruits and sacrificing the unblemished livestock. In other words, by giving God that which is valuable to us, we demonstrate our trust in Him and not in Gold.

    Pretty crazy by today’s thinking, but I guess they thought the same way when Jesus was around! (Mark 14:3-5). Plus ça change….!

    • Thanks for the explanations Canche, it’s good to know the symbolism.

  • Buzz


    I’m afraid that your interpretation of the three chairs is incorrect. I’d suggest that it represents a place for the presider (priest) and two altar servers to sit when not standing or moving about. At San Francisco El Grande, where my wife and I attend, there are typically seven or more chairs placed behind the altar like this. While I’m know that there were occasions when seven or more individuals were crucified together, I strongly doubt that any special symbolism is intended by chair placement. Feel free to ask any priest if you feel differently.


    • El Canche

      Maybe at Rudy’s church they don’t like their priest or his two servers and have more sinister plans of their own…as Rudy says: “watch this space!”

      • Sure Canche, you always find the story behind the story.

    • Haha, I was checking to see if you guys were paying attention. 😉