Inside… Our Lady of Consolation

While I don’t have as many pictures of this church as I would like, this tabernacle is too gorgeous for me not to share.

This is from Our Lady of Consolation.  I came to this church a few times with my choir in high school.  We sang for Mass on some select weekends, and we did a Christmas concert there for their community.  My senior year was the inaugural year of this partnership, though I hear they have continued to return regularly since then.

The church is structured in the semi-round, (that’s the best way I can think to describe it.)  The altar space makes up the edge of a semi circle, and the pews radiate from around that point.  This tabernacle is to the side of the church, a beautiful and colorful space.  I was instantly drawn to this tabernacle because it looks like glitter.  I’m a huge fan of anything sparkly, and this design called to me.   The curve of the doors allows for the light to be caught at every single angle, and it was so mesmerizing.  I could hardly turn away from it.  Behind that, the mosaic behind it is so intricate and detailed.  The colors are so rich and varied.  This is the type of tabernacle set up that draws you in and keeps you there.  It seems a bit unconventional to me, but I was really blown away by it.  I knew I had to take a picture of it, so as soon as Mass ended and the congregation started clearing out, I turned my phone back on and headed over.

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This church also fascinated me with its incense.  They had this super cool chandelier-style fixture that was up by the ceiling… most of the time.  When they used incense in the Mass, however, they brought the fixture down from ceiling.  They dumped massive amounts of incense into the fixture, and it released equally massive plumes of smoke into the air.  I have never seen such poignant, physical reminder of our prayers rising to God.  It was awe-inspiring – and since I love the smell of incense, it was really comforting to me personally.

Something that I had never experienced before was television screens at a Mass.  Before Mass began, two screens on either wall forming the edges of the semi-circle displayed a slideshow with upcoming events and announcements.  During the liturgy itself, the screens showed live footage from various, discretely placed cameras throughout the space.  This meant that the lector got a tight focus while they were reading, as did the priest when he was preaching and praying.  They would pan across our choir while we were leading songs.  I wasn’t really a huge fan of it, personally, because I found myself getting distracted by the cinematography.  But I did really appreciate the close, detailed shots of the Body and Blood of Christ during the consecration.  If I attended that parish more often, I think I could grow accustomed to that view.  It made the consecration feel so much more intimate, because I felt like I could be that much closer to Christ as His presence was made manifest in the Eucharist.

 

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