The Octagon (see tomorrow) and its tower reminds us of how glory can come out of ruin, hope overcome despair and death lead to new life. You might like to pause and reflect as you think about its story. It was under the Octagon that the Choir stalls, now to the east, were originally sited - where heaven and earth are joined, the monks sang God's praises and said their prayers. Today the Octagon is the site of the principal altar in the Cathedral, where the main Sunday Eucharist is celebrated. This service, in which we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, also brings heaven to earth and raises earth to heaven. By the fourteenth century architectural styles had changed, and the Octagon was built in the contemporary Gothic style, with stronger pointed arches and more elaborate decoration. Around the Octagon are a series of small carvings on either side of the arches of the main pillars. These are among the few medieval carvings in the Cathedral to have survived the Reformation, perhaps because they tell the story of St Etheldreda.
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