Christ the Judge

The majestic figure of Christ as Judge shows him seated on a throne, the symbol of his authority. From him, the rays of grace transfuse the whole universe. His radiance lights both the earth and moon under his feet. The tiny white spot on the globe represents Memphis. Traditionally, our Lord is clothed in a rich red robe when he is pictured in the Judgment seat. It symbolizes love, power, and bloodshed. The deep blue background represents eternity and the universe.

Behind the throne, the Archangel Gabriel holds his trumpet in readiness of the Day of Judgment.  Below, on Christ’s left, the Archangel Michael holds the scales of justice on which the souls of men are to be weighed. He has closed his eyes as though blindfolded because he is not the judge nor does he have any part in weighing souls of men. Another archangel, probably Raphael, is holding the Book of Knowledge, opened to the year 1953--the year in which the mural was painted. The equations express Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, which was his theory of the basic laws governing the universe. “In 1953 , it was the greatest advancement of scientific knowledge known to man.” John DeRosen, the artist, is saying that theology and science have the same source—God.

This mural, the last to be painted, was given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of The Reverend Alfred "Tib" Loaring-Clark (Missioner 1926-1928, Rector 1928 until the time of his death in 1952). It was the gift of his family, parishioners, and friends.

David Fox, a parishioner, finished his thesis for a degree from Princeton University with this statement, “Mr. DeRosen ends his cycle of murals with a dynamic and powerful scene of Christ as Eternal Judge, which, although based on ancient iconography, has a deep meaning for man today, and one which is extremely startling to the congregation as they turn to leave the church at the end of a service.”

This mural measures 35 feet by 30 feet.

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Saint John’s Episcopal Church
3245 Central Avenue | Memphis, Tennessee 38111
Phone (901) 323-8597 | Fax (901) 327-9032