Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Easter Banners

Easter Banners

“The Harrowing of Hell” by John Steczynski, 1996.

The Board of Worship commissioned this Easter hanging, which depicts Christ descending into Hell to release those who died before the Resurrection, including Adam and Eve and John the Baptist.

The artist John Steczynski describes the banners: “This is now the fourth time I have done a major Easter hanging. For other liturgical seasons I have been able to settle on a fairly satisfactory image the first time, and then, if doing it again, evolve it without major changes. By contrast, each of my Easter images is quite distinct. This perhaps reflects a greater difficulty in being able to visualize this greatest Christian mystery. In the Eastern Church, it was the last of the major feasts to find it final iconic form. The current image is, in fact, based on that image, what in the East is named Anastasis, and in the West has usually been called the Harrowing of Hell. (Anna D. Kartsonis’ Anastasis: The Making of an Image is an excellent study of the Byzantine iconography.)”

Photo by Chris Pollari. All rights reserved.