Now go up the few steps towards the nave altar
You are now in the area known as the crossing. It lies directly beneath the Cathedral’s bell tower and spire.
Here you will see two large chairs. The needlepoint cushions were made by three members of the congregation. The Dean uses the one on your right as you face the altar. The original coat of arms of the Cathedral is embroidered on its back. The Bishop uses the one on the left (although it is not officially the Bishop’s Throne). The embroidered crest is that of the Diocese of Montreal.
On the pillar on the left of the altar is a modern icon which depicts the traditional figure of Christ Pantocrator – all powerful – with the post-modern office tower as the backdrop to his throne, and the Neo-gothic Anglican cathedral at his feet.
Now walk slowly towards the high altar
Of special interest, on your right, is the large eighteenth century reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, which was rescued from the flames of the previous Cathedral by a member of the 39th Regiment. He allegedly used his sword to free it from its frame.
The wooden pews on either side are the canons’ stalls. This is where specially appointed members of the cathedral chapter sit during official diocesan services.
At the end of the canon stalls, to the right, you can see the bishop’s seat also known as ‘cathedra’, the Greek or Latin word meaning ‘throne’. This is the origin of the word ‘cathedral’ which means a place containing the bishop’s throne.