Architecture + ICONOGRAPHY
DESIGN + STRUCTURE OF ST. ELIAS [ORIGINAL TEMPLE]
In rural Brampton, just on the outskirts of Toronto, built in 1995, the parish church of St. Elias the Prophet rises high on the Peel Plain above the Credit River Valley. Though this building was built in 1995, the parish community was started in 1976.
A wooden structure of heavy timbers (Douglas Fir), it is sheathed in Western red cedar. It has been constructed according to an architectural style known as “Boyko”, derived from western Ukraine.
The 3 sections (altar, sanctuary, and narthex) are each topped with a dome or cupola. According to Byzantine liturgical typology, the dome is an image of the heavens.
The narthex is the world fallen after the sin of Adam, the Sanctuary is the world redeemed following the Passion and Resurrection of Christ Jesus, and the Altar is the World to Come, an image of the New Jerusalem.
The cupolas on the church of St. Elias are in the 17th century Cossack style. It is one the only 2 Boyko churches that have 5 cupolas rather than the usual 3 (the other being St. George's in Drohobych, Ukraine.
Steeped in the Byzantine Ukrainian tradition of wooden architecture, St. Elias Church was designed on the principle that architectural form should follow liturgical function.
Each space within the church has been designed in order to enable full and complete celebration of the sacramental Mysteries facilitating the active participation of the entire assembly.
Our Temple is built according to the ancient canons which prescribe that Christians should pray facing the East ("East" being a symbol of Christ.) Luke 1:79 says that the Christ is the Dayspring (Sunrise from on high ("Anatole ex ypous"...or in Latin, "ORIENS ex alto."
Conceptual Architect: Mr. Robert Greenberg Structural Engineers: F.J. Reinders and Associates St. Elias was the Winner of the Gold Leaf Award in the Institutional Cateory of the 1997 Brampton Development Design Awards.