Hallelujah Square: A 26′ Masterpiece
Heaven Through The Eyes of a Child
One of the most well-known murals in the Precious Moments Chapel is the iconic Hallelujah Square. Encompassing the entire 18 feet wide South wall of the Sanctuary, the 26 foot tall inspiration is a tribute to all those who have passed through the gates of Heaven.
Dedications of love and remembrance
Visitors often remark how they see their own loved ones in the faces of the characters painted into the mural. Over 20 years Mr. Butcher added dedications to Hallelujah Square, the last of which was his mother, Evelyn, in 2009. Visit the Tim Ryan Memorial Room to learn about those Mr. Butcher painted into Hallelujah Square.
The Only Complete Mural
With flowing black hair and dressed in a purple gown, Mr. Butcher’s mother, Evelyn, stands near the welcoming gates. As a symbol of her peaceful nature in life, one who was slow to anger, Evelyn holds a green turtle in Heaven. Following the addition of his mother to the mural in 2009, Mr. Butcher declared Hallelujah Square finished by adding his signature to the lower right-hand corner. To date, it is the only Chapel mural to be officially “complete”.
A Place Of Reunion And Joy
One of the most revealing symbols of Mr. Butcher’s vision that Heaven is a place of reunion and joy is the message on the golden gate proclaiming “No More Tears”. The welcoming committee greets newcomers to their heavenly home while angels look on in protection. The childlike innocence of Heaven is cleverly depicted with an adorable angel holding his sign upside down!
Individual characters and stories from Hallelujah Square have inspired many figurines over the years, including No Tears Past The Gate, I’m Gonna Let It Shine, and Peacemaker.
A Happy Accident
Early on in the painting of Hallelujah Square, the breadth of the project took hold of Mr. Butcher. During a moment of prayer, he told the Lord that for the Chapel to be a success, He needed to be at the center of all that would be accomplished. Sometime later, after having been painting from the floor and from a mechanical lift, the Artist took to the balcony to ensure his massive mural was in proper perspective before he continued. It was then he discovered for the first time that Jesus was painted in the center of Hallelujah Square. He truly was at the center of Mr. Butcher’s life and work.
Popcorn In Paradise
Graduation Day, the day when an angel earns his halo, is an important rite of passage and an honor to witness first-hand. Mr. Butcher didn’t want to miss out on such an important occasion, so he painted himself into the mural to watch the angel processional. Perhaps you have noticed the little boy in the balcony munching on a bucket of popcorn?
Three important clues let us in on the Artist’s secret!
The boy in the balcony is not an angel, since he does not have wings or a halo…
He has a little bit of grey hair, a similar portrait to the Artist when he painted this likeness…
He carries paint brushes in his back pocket!
The stories and photos of most individuals painted into The Hallelujah Square Trilogy are on display in the Tim Ryan Memorial Room.
Promises of Everlasting Peace
The third segment of the Hallelujah Square Trilogy, Promises of Everlasting Peace, is pictured on the East wall of the Sanctuary. In addition to dedications, the mural includes many subtle scriptural references regarding peace, light and hope, including the birthday cake with “100” candles.
“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child…” – Isaiah 65:20