There are a large number of angels with Rosslyn Chapel which is hardly surprising given that it was begun in 1446 as a Roman Catholic Church more than a hundred years before the Reformation (1560).

Angels have a few symbolic meaning the most common referring their obvious function as the messengers of G-d. They are heavenly beings who have the ability to descend to earth on errands for the almighty. As messengers they are in two-way communication with the divine and this angel appears to be sitting watching the worshippers below. Rosslyn Chapel contains a large number of angels (has anyone counted them?) this is entirely appropriate given the saint to whom the chapel is dedicated – St Matthew.

The use of the angel has a double meaning here firstly, the obvious one, the messenger of G-d and secondly, because a winged man, or angel, is the symbol for St Matthew shows us that the builder of Rosslyn Chapel was aware of medieval Christian symbolism and used it to the full. It also reinforces the Christian nature and purpose of Rosslyn Chapel.

This sitting angel has both hands on it’s knees. This posture is said to be Masonic but the none of the Rosslyn Templars has never seen such a posture in any Masonic situation. If one adopt this position for yourself you will know that it is not the most comfortable of positions.

The carvings of angels are therefore firmly in the Christian tradition. Why some believe the angel to be in a ‘Masonic posture’ has not been explained and no Freemason we have contacted has ever seen this posture within Freemasonry.