Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Beautiful New Altar in a Soon-to-be-Dedicated Church (Mary Help of Christians, in Aiken, SC)

As we reported last week, the church of St Mary, Help of Christians in Aiken, South Carolina, will be dedicated next Monday, the feast of Candlemas, by His Excellency Robert Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston. The architectural firm that designed the church, McCrery Architects, and Fr Gregory Wilson, the pastor, both sent us photographs of various parts of the church building, the decorations and furnishings, which you can see by clicking here; the whole project is worth seeing as an example of a brand new church which is built in complete respect for the Catholic tradition of sacred art and architecture. McCrery has just sent me several photographs of the various phases of the project to design and build the altar, (a project which took about 11 months from initial idea to execution), which I am happy to be able to share with our readers.

The altar of the Baptistery of Florence Cathedral was chosen by Fr Wilson as the starting point for the project:

The final approved drawing for the altar design.

The seven species of marbles employed in the altar. The one on the upper left was later replaced with a much whiter specie that forms the body of the altar and mensa.

Color studies using color pencils, which are later sent to the fabricator’s shop.

Fabrication begins: small inlay pieces cut by computer-guided water-jet now ready for assembly.
Front panel assembly

Bringing it all together - altar front assembly.

One of the round colonnettes that support the mensa – notice the concrete block altar core in the background.

The altar core being wrapped with the marble assemblies.

The completed altar, installed over three days.

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