On the left with the cross is Ecclesia, the Church. Her crown is
done in three rows, somewhat like a papal tiara. At her right hand
is a laver, the footed ceremonial washbowl of Exodus 30:18-19.
This is what St. Paul references in Ephesians 5:26, which has
Christ "cleansing" his bride "in the laver of water of the word of
The baptismal connotations in the laver are seconded by the
descent of the dove from the center of the composition,
referencing the dove that appeared at the baptism of Christ. Turning
away from Synagoga, this symbol of the Holy Spirit sheds his light
beams on Ecclesia alone.
Beneath the dove the symbols of three evangelists take possession
of the earth (left to right, the eagle of St. John, the lion of
St. Mark, and the ox of St. Luke).
Synagoga wears Aaron's breastplate and "holy crown" (Exodus 28).
Her left hand holds the tablets of the Law. In the right hand is
either a short sword or more likely a broken lance like one
mentioned by Duchet-Suchaux
(89-90). Unlike Ecclesia, her eyes are cast down and nearly
Similar images often present Synagoga with less dignity. The
difference here may be because Moses is the church's patron, or it
may be because a pulpit is used to expound both the Old and New
More of Ecclesia and Synagoga
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