Altar of Repose 2019

I wanted to share this photo of this year’s Altar of Repose in my parish, the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Birmingham, Alabama. This year’s variation includes sheaves of wheat and bunches of grapes (beside and on the candlesticks), as well as antique wood-carved cherubs (owned by a parishioner), holding the drapery on either side.

This space in the church is where the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is. There was originally a marble side altar here — sadly removed in one of the major renovations of the last century (I think 1972). The Blessed Mother statue from that altar was then placed on a beautiful new wooden pedestal that stands here — not really visible in this photo because of the kneeler and the decoration.

For the last three years, we have put up this wooden backdrop in front of the statue (which, in any case, is veiled for Passiontide) so as to create an altar of repose. Parishioners and visitors may then spread out in the side aisle of the church to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament during the period of adoration from the conclusion of the Holy Thursday Mass until midnight.

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