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The Triumph of the Lamb Mosaic: The Imagery of Revelation

Spanning 3,340 square feet, The Triumph of the Lamb dome mosaic is the culmination of the five domes in the Great Upper Church, depicting Christ’s victorious second coming. Today we invite you to learn about the significance of this resplendent work of sacred art that so magnificently brings to life the mysteries of Revelation.

The Lamb

At the center is the lamb with seven horns, seven eyes, and an open scroll at its feet, reflective of Revelation 5:1–6:

I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to examine it. I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

 Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the [seven] spirits of God sent out into the whole world.

The Elders

Forming a bold Greek cross are the 24 elders, in four groups of six, dressed in white and wearing gold crowns. Between each group are the four living creatures mentioned in Revelation 4:6–8

Triumph of the Lamb Dome Sanctuary Dome
Triumph of the Lamb Dome

In front of the throne was something that resembled a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne, there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back. The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
    who was, and who is, and who is to come.”

The Angels

In each corner, the Kingship of Christ is illustrated by depictions of angels each holding a quarter of the earth. Each quadrant of the dome contains a statement from the hymn of the elders, the living creatures, and the myriad of angels as described in Revelation 4:11; 5:12–13:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
    because of your will they came to be and were created.”
… and they cried out in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
    to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
    honor and glory and blessing.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out:
“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be blessing and honor, glory and might,
    forever and ever.”

The mosaic design is by Millard Owen Sheets, and the mosaic was manufactured by Ravenna Mosaic Co. It is the gift of Polish Americans, through the episcopal committee for the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa (1966).

Enjoy 360° views of the Triumph of the Lamb mosaic in the image below from our virtual tour.


Basilica Guide and Tour Book, Dr. Geraldine Rohling

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