Wednesday, January 05, 2011

First Phase of Oratory Renovations at the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank

Brother Stephen of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank has pointed out to us the following video of the first phase of the Oratory renovations that are going on at that Abbey. Here is the background:

Over the Christmas Octave, we completed phase one of the renovation of the oratory. It required a substantial amount of labor, but the price, as you'll see in the video, was very right.

The centerpiece of the renovation is the reassembled choir of the Abbey Church of 1928, which once again gives us a full choir following the traditional Cistercian plan. The wainscoting that originally hung above the stalls now forms their backing. The choir screens had to be shortened slightly to get them through the doors of the oratory, but otherwise, the choir is as it was.

The oak panels behind the altar, the image of Our Lady of the Ring, and the credence, are trimmed with antique mahogany from the original abbey buildings supplemented by two pieces African mahogany that were on hand in the woodshop. The festal frontal is made from a piece of cotton/silk lampas picked up at a good price with orphreys of black chorded silk and an old gold galloon. The distinctively Cistercian wrought iron crucifix and candlesticks seen in the video were from one of the lateral altars in the old church.

The tabernacle, rebuilt several years ago by Fr. Joseph combines the bronze tabernacle from the high altar of the original church with a casing of oak and mahogany reminiscent of Medieval sacrament houses.

The work was done in discrete stages so that it was never necessary to interrupt the flow of the Divine Office.

Phase two will involve a new ceiling and floor, a complete restoration of the choir stalls, new lighting, and some additional furnishings. That's going to cost a bit more in time, labor, and capital.

If you would like to make a contribution to support the Abbey and help us on our way, there is more information on our web site:



(A splendid antependium.) They have also produced a video presentation showing some of the history of the Abbey and these renovations.

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