Monday, March 01, 2010

Interesting Detail of a Restoration - Holy Name, Providence, RI

My parish, the Church of the Holy Name in Providence, Rhode Island, has been the home of a regularly scheduled Mass in the usus antiquior since 1994. Prior to that, the Sunday 11 a.m. Mass was celebrated in the modern Rite, but largely in Latin, with Gregorian chant and classic sacred polyphony. Masses are still celebrated in the modern Rite, and there is a Mass for the local African community celebrated with a Gospel choir. In recent years, the pastor, Fr. Joseph Santos, has undertaken an extensive and much needed restoration of this beautiful church; much of the project has been finished, while other parts remain to be completed. Some interesting work has just been finished in the atrium, and the scaffolding finally taken down. The flaking old paint has been replaced with images of the stars, planets and constellations, represented as they were on September 9, 1900, at 10 a.m. This was the moment when the original dedication ceremony of the church was begun by His Excellency the Rev. Matthew Harkins, Second Bishop of Providence.

Left section of the atrium ceiling, with the constellations Libra and Virgo

Central section of the atrium ceiling, with the constellations Leo and Cancer:
(the circle and six points in the middle are a light, not part of the design)
Right section of the atrium ceiling, with the constellation Gemini

Detail of the center: Leo, Mercury and the Sun
Detail of the border between center and right: Cancer, Venus and Mars

Detail of the right section: Gemini, Neptune and Pluto

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