St Andrew’s Cathedral is an Episcopalian church with an Anglican past. It was founded by royal sponsors HRH King Alexander Liholiho and his wife HRH Queen Emma Kaleleonālani Na‘ea Rooke . It is a beautiful Gothic church established in 1867 and completed in the 1950s with the addition of this stained glass window at the West Entrance.
The history of this church started when King Alexander Liholiho and Queen Emma Kaleleonālani Na‘ea Rooke contacted Queen Victoria about establishing an Anglican church in Hawaii and she agreed. The Hawaiian monarchs had named their son Albert after Queen Victoria’s beloved husband and the correspondence between Queen Emma and Queen Victoria is poignant tale of friendship between two queens. I am a volunteer docent on Wednesdays and enjoy being in the sanctuary whether visitors come or not. It gives me time to pray, or get familiarized with everything about this place. The artwork is stunning, from the stained glass windows to the carved pulpit and design.
As you enter through the West Window to the left are stained glass windows depicting stories from the Old Testament with some exceptions including the Last Supper and Jesus as the ruler of the world and other religions and the window closest to the entrance depicting King Alexander, Captain Cook and another explorer. On the right side the stories mainly depict the New Testament also with some exceptions such as a window depicting St Francis of Assisi closest to the door and part of the Queen Liliʻuokalani Peace Chapel. Closer to the altar there is a peace memorial remembering Pearl Harbor made from koa wood and steel salvaged from Pearl Harbor fashioned into an anchor.
When the insurrectionists took over the Hawaiian government to depose Queen Lili’uokalani, she fled from her home at Washington Place to St Andrew’s Priory and the sisters hid her to save her from violence. The Queen was imprisoned and humiliated in a kangaroo court trying her for treason but through it all, the Bishop Willis visited her and prayed daily for her crown until Hawaii was annexed by the United States of America. This also marked the end of an Anglican bishop at St Andrews and it was transferred to the American Episcopalian church and under their bishop’s authority.
God is an Artist and he tries to help us out when we trust the process and not the product.