Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Update: Painting the Apse

Everyone who attended Mass at the Cathedral last weekend saw the scaffolding in the apse of the church. The construction workers spent last week building the structure. The painters will paint the walls this week.

The scaffolding restricts the usable liturgical space in the sanctuary. There is barely room for a celebrant and a few servers. Bishop Slattery has decided to move next week's Chrism Mass to the Church of Saint Mary.

These photos show the deep red color painted on the walls behind the high altar. The goal of putting a rich color behind the altar is to make the altar more prominent by increasing the contrast between the faux-marble altar and the wall. Our eyes are drawn to the altar and we are reminded of the Blessed Sacrament present in the tabernacle in this altar. (N.B. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Chapel's tabernacle during the work week.)

The walls behind the Blessed Virgin's altar and Saint Joseph's altar will be painted too. In the above photo, we see a mock-up of the blue color to be painted on the wall behind the Blessed Virgin's altar. It is "Marian blue" with a rose and rose petal stenciled over it.

The wall behind Saint Joseph's altar will be painted purple as seen below. The stencil over the purple is a fleur-de-lis, a stylized Easter lily, and also the tools of a carpenter: a hammer, nails, and a carpenter's square.

Finally, work continues on the central tower. The old wood and aluminum roof is being replaced with new metal decking. The new copper roof will follow soon.

Here is an old photo from c. 1913 showing the installation of the original roof.

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