An Icon for The Chapel of the Transfiguration

On March 16, 2016, the vestry of The Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole approved my painting an icon of the Transfiguration to be hung in the log chapel that sits in the middle of the valley beneath the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. The gallery below tells the story. Click on each photo to learn more. [click here to return to the thumbnails]

Apr. 9, 2016

Picture 11 of 17

Blessing for Climbers and Their Equipment

About two feet to the left of where the icon will be placed hangs this framed blessing for climbers and their equipment. You can see it there to the right of the door in the February 8 photo.

The Chapel of the Transfiguration is located less than five miles from the Grand Teton Climbers Ranch. It is said that often climbers come to The Chapel to pray before attempting a difficult climb.

Knowing this, I decided that the version of the icon of the Transfiguration I would paint had to include the part of the story where Jesus and his disciples ascended and descended the mountain. Granted, Mt. Tabor (the reputed site of the Transfiguration) is only about 1800 feet above the plain, but Jesus did go climbing.

Not all the climbers in the area make it home safely. In those cases, St. John’s Church does what it can to comfort the bereaved and help the families of those left behind. It is what we do.

Here is the text:


Bless, we beseech Thee, O Lord, these ropes, ice axes, pitons, and other instruments; so that those who will use them on the rough cliffs of the mountain in ice, snow and storms may be preserved from any fall or danger, may successfully reach the summit and safely return to their own, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Protect, O Lord, through the intercession of blessed Bernard, who Thou hast given as a patron to those who dwell and travel in the Alps, these servants of Thine; and grant that as they ascend these heights they may be made strong to reach the mountain which is Christ, through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

– from the Rituals Romanum


+ Michael J. Curley
Archbishop of Baltimore and Washington

If you, by any chance, have something to add to the stories, please type that into the “comments” section.

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