Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cathedral of the Pines

Memorial Bell Tower
The Cathedral of the Pines (10 Hale Hill Rd., Rindge, NH) is a beautiful place dedicated to those of all religious and spiritual paths who wish to visit and worship at it. The main worship areas are only lightly touched by the guiding hand of Man, and instead are naturally designed by Nature herself.

The Memorial Bell Tower was dedicated in 1967 and was built as a tribute to all the American women who sacrificed their lives in our country's wars and conflicts. The pillars of the Tower are built from field stones, removed from the surrounding fields.

Within the base of the Tower is the Tree of Life fountain, a beautiful copper structure bearing twelve varieties of fruit. It commemorates the lives of American nurses lost in the wars of America.

Altar of the Nation
The main altar is called The Altar of the Nation, and it overlooks Mt. Monadnock. It was built in 1946 and is made up of stones from around the country and world. It is recognized as a National Memorial to all American war dead. Throughout the summer, the Altar hosts weddings, funerals, and worship groups from many different religious and spiritual groups. To date, 56 religious denominations and faiths have held services at the Cathedral.

Path to the Altar
There are many other small outdoor chapels behind and surrounding the Altar of the Nation. The Mother Chapel is a tribute to all mothers. There is a small Zen Garden. Down the path you will find the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel where the annual Blessing of the Animals is held. Hilltop House contains the Chaplains' Altar, a memorial to the first American Chaplain who died in action in WWI. Hilltop House also contains the Cathedral Museum, and the items used for Jewish services.

Memorial bench
The Cathedral has a tiny staff, and a Board of Trustees. Costs are kept low whenever possible. While wedding parties do pay to book the main Altar for their ceremony, the entire Cathedral is open daily to the public from May 1- Oct. 31 every year, for free. Donation boxes line the walks, but much of what is done to the gardens and grounds is done by volunteers who give of their time and energy to keep it up.

This weekend, on Saturday, April 27th, the Cathedral is hosting a clean-up time. Volunteers are asked to bring rakes and shovels and gloves and give a hand at tidying up the altars, walk-ways, and public spaces. The clean-up begins at 9am, and everyone is invited to join in. If you are able, please come join in the efforts and become a volunteer and supporter of this wonderful and amazing interfaith arena. Celebrate the re-birth of spring and flowers and warmer temperatures amidst the grandiose beauty of the Cathedral!

If you'd like to get more information, check out their website or give them a call at (603) 899-3300.

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